By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) remained adamant in their call for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to institute reforms, end human rights abuses and fight corruption in order for them to lift targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe.
On Sunday, Zanu PF supporters in collaboration with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) conducted a foiled Anti-Sanctions march which was aimed at demanding “unconditional” lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the Western governments.
But the governments responsible for the imposition of the targeted sanctions responded with rebuking Mnangagwa’s regime for human rights violations.
On Saturday the United Kingdom’s ambassador to Harare Melanie Robinson said Zimbabwe’s political leaders have brought economic ruin on the country through corruption and human rights abuses and rejected government claims that Western sanctions are to blame.
“What needs to be said: it’s not sanctions, it’s corruption that drives away investors and leaves teachers, doctors, nurses and services struggling.
“Sanctions don’t hurt ordinary citizens. Zimbabweans must be free to expose corruption, rights abuses and see perpetrators face justice,” Robinson said in a series of tweets.
In a statement on Twitter, the EU said reforms were needed in Zimbabwe to address issues of accountability.
“Did You Know? Investors make decisions based on risks. Reforms are needed in #Zimbabwe to address transparency & accountability, to fight corruption, to ensure the protection of investments & improve good governance; none of which are affected by EU restrictive measures.
“Did You Know? The EU restrictive measures have no impact on trade and the tariff and quota-free privileged access of goods from #Zimbabwe to the #EU market, granted by the Economic and Partnership Agreement (#EPA) ratified in 2012,” says EU.
US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian Nichols last week said the anti-sanctions events were designed to distract the people of Zimbabwe from the real causes of the problems in this country.
“I think if the government of Zimbabwe put the energy that they put into organising these types of events and generating statements from other SADC members into pursuing the reform agenda the better.
“The government of Zimbabwe campaigned and talked about reform three years ago in November 2017 and 2018 at the inauguration of President Mnangagwa. If they have events on the reform agenda and the conditions, the restrictive measures that the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and others have imposed would be met.
“I think this is a hollow exercise in that it does not solve the interests of the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.
The US added; “Zimbabwe falls short of its potential due to corruption and mismanagement by those in power and the government’s abuse of its own citizens, not targeted sanctions.” Nehanda Radio