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Dear Boris Johnson: Removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe

17 Oct 2019 at 16:42hrs | Views
Dr Masimba Mavaza
6 Sandown Close
NN18 8QW


DEAR Honourable Prime Minister 

I write to you to express my deepest concerns over the increasingly egregious impact of the sanctions on the lives of ordinary civilians in Zimbabwe.

You may recall that, following years of intense diplomatic meetings, Zimbabwe was slapped with economic sanction and given some conditions to fulfil. Your excellency you may recall that during that time Zimbabwe was expelled from the Commonwealth.

In return to the rule of law, France, Italy the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany, committed to lifting sanctions and normalising trade with Zimbabwe. However, US president Donald Trump announced new sanctions on Zimbabwe despite confirming that the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe has normalised. I should mention that the United Kingdom has not condemned these sanctions against Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans are suffering beyond measure. At the ministerial Joint Commission in Vienna on 6 July 2018, the remaining participants recommitted themselves to steps which should be taken by Zimbabwe if sanctions are to be removed. Zimbabwe has done all that which is possible to have the sanctions removed. All the efforts have been in vain as your country the United Kingdom which is my country too has not moved an inch on its position in Zimbabwean sanctions. At the same time, the 11 areas intended to keep Iran in the deal have yet to be delivered upon.

Quite clearly, the European and the US sanctions are designed to punish all Zimbabweans collectively. I appeal to your other part of Mr Johnson which is the Human you to consider the effects of these sanctions on Zimbabwe. While I agree that there is corruption and some mismanagement in government of Zimbabwe, I submit that the new dispensation has tried to bring Zimbabwe's administration within acceptable conditions. Mr Prime Minister Zimbabweans are dying in droves, hospitals are closing down, transport system has brought the country to its knees, and Zimbabweans have suffered enough. I know that you know that the prosperity of Zimbabwe is in your hands, you can simply lift your hands up and vote to remove the sanctions, you will be amazed at how many lives you save by simply lifting your hand up against the sanctions.

Mr Prime Minister Sir the distance between your waist to your head measured through lifting your hand is the exact lives you will save by lifting these sanctions against Zimbabwe.

I am aware that the EU had been hiding behind the fact that the sanctions are targeted, we all know this is not true. If Zimbabwean products are not sold anywhere the country suffers. Zimbabwe now is shedding the tears of blood and this blood can be wiped by your lifting of that hand against sanctions.

Mr Prime Minister I write to you because I know God gave you such powers to save Zimbabwe if you would want to do so. I know you are struggling with Brexit, but can you take a second and consider Zimbabwe. The life in Zimbabwe now has become unbearable and it is only you who can help.

Zimbabwe is being attacked from all angles and your humanly intervention will be greatly appreciated sir. The US treasury continues to penalise businesses and banks in Europe and elsewhere for violating its extraterritorial sanctions against Zimbabwe. They have rejected Zimbabwean diamonds on the flimsy reasons that they are products of forced labour. Mr Prime Minister Sir you are aware that Zimbabwe is facing unemployment problems. There is no way on earth ZIMBABWEAN can be forced to work in mines. They actually apply for that job because there is no other job to apply for, so the story of forced labour is embarrassing on the part of the US.  The treasury fraudulently claims that food and health are exempted from their sanctions. But this is, in fact, not true.

I strongly appeal for the Sanctions to be removed especial those linked to humanitarian trade, food, medicine, and civil aviation. Also, attempts by Zimbabwe to apply for a payment channel to facilitate the importation of key medical and food supplies, has not materialised because of the Sanctions.

In a multitude of ways, sanctions, and in particular banking restrictions, continue to constrain Zimbabwe ability to import food commodities. As such, delays in food delivery are more frequent and Zimbabwe cannot survive in these conditions.

I am sure you might be aware that Zimbabwean Diamonds are now stranded as they cannot be sold because of these sanctions. This results in urgent food shortages and increased prices the economic dip which can be avoided if Mr Prime Minister removes the sanctions. I strongly believe that Sanctions on Zimbabwe are no longer necessary; such actions are clearly in violation of the international human rights law of the "right to adequate food", as stipulated in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

Health standards in Zimbabwe are in danger of critical decline, due to a severe shortage of life-saving medical supplies. Banking restrictions cause delays in the supply of raw material for domestic medicines. They also create shortages of advanced medicines and medical equipment to the detriment of patients suffering especially from cancer, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and haemophilia. Again, this reflects a violation of the ICESCR's Article 12 of "the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health". The irony of this matter is that those targeted by sanctions can afford to be treated in other countries and the common Zimbabweans are the ones who suffer the effects of these sanctions.

It is my submission that the approach taken by your country and other countries is inhuman. Zimbabweans have suffered under these sanctions for a very long time. This inhumane approach is ominously taking a heavy toll, to which your administration and the American administration turns a blind eye. No doubt that the sanctions against Zimbabwe amounts to "crimes against humanity".

Zimbabwe has taken due note of the EU and the American conditions to be fulfilled before sanctions are removed. The Zimbabwean government has clearly fulfilled the requirements and the policy statement from the EU and your country are encouraging. These policy statements, however, need to be complemented with practical measures. Such actions will permit the Zimbabwe nation to derive the benefits to which it is justly entitled by sticking to its part of the reforms it has engaged in.

Allow me to conclude by reiterating that Zimbabwe is a proud nation with a rich civilisation and a history of resilience. Its sovereignty will not succumb to any form of foreign coercion on this standing Zimbabwe has engaged in an reengagement policy. It is tied tightly by the sanctions around its hands that stretching it towards engagement is a high mountain to climb. I seriously beg you to consider your position on the sanctions and allow Zimbabwe to breathe.

Mr Prime Minister God in heaven is looking upon you to save the Zimbabweans being chocked and suffocated by these sanctions.

What Zimbabwe seeks, however, is justice. Other partners of goodwill must shed indifference, inaction and mild expressions of regret in the face of sanctions which have racked havoc on the poor people of Zimbabwe. History judges nations, and people, by the way they act when matters of principle are at stake. I pray that Mr Prime Minister you chose that history judges you for having saved the suffering helped the perishing and cared for the dying Zimbabweans.

I would like to thank you your Excellency for replying to this plea.

Yours in Tears

Dr Masimba Mavaza

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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