By Nancy Makurira
The leader of one of ZANU PF’s lobbyists groups ‘Zimbabweans Unite Against US War Sanctions’, Rutendo Matinyarare sounded quite discomforted by the new UK policy on Zimbabwe. He couldn’t even distinguish between a court indictment and foreign policy.
In his opinion, Zimbabwe as a country has been declared guilty without due process, therefore the sanctions are illegal. The permanent secretary of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana’s reaction on Twitter was that of scoff.
He did not see the need to put restrictions on the security apparatchiks because he says they did not have business with the UK and never intended to travel there. But frankly he knows the meaning of a sanction; it is a preventative measure.
This will soon be echoed across Zimbabwean state media and politicians. The general tone as usual is of feeling ‘wing clipped’ and inconvenienced. The ZANU PF’s preferred foreign policies are of blind alliances and open borders for their looted gains.
Emmerson Mnangagwa’s lobbying against sanctions that are being levied on his business and corrupt connections do not represent the wishes of the ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe.
All progressive nations now know that his rhetoric of ‘New Republic’ carries no political will to bring life supporting reforms for the people. With only 3 years in power, Mnangagwa is already considered worse than his predecessor Mugabe.
The British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson clearly noted the areas of human rights that the she always push Mnangagwa to reform, including justice for the people who were shot dead during the August 2018 and January 2019 protests.
The only justifiable way forward for the Zimbabwean government now is to accept that work has to be done in areas of human rights, governance, and justice delivery. This will lay a solid political foundation to guarantee free and fair elections, an assurance of a brighter future for all.
The current misinterpretations of foreign policies is clearly sending messages everywhere in the world that Zimbabwe is still in bondage. Instead of taking these targeted measures as an attack, Mnangagwa can take them as an opportunity to reform and respect the will of his people.
And so, what I am advocating for as a young person, and am doing it so openly, is the fact that it is time for new ideas to enter the political fray. There is no doubt that we have recycled the same people with the same ideas and it is time for us to think differently.
Nancy Makurira is the MDC UK and Ireland Youth Assembly Vice Chairperson