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US, UK point middle finger at Zim’s anti-sanctions day, blame corruption

The United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) have pointed the middle finger at Zimbabwe’s anti-sanctions day, stating that the targeted economic measures they imposed on the Southern African country had nothing to do with the downfall of its economy but corruption and economic mismanagement by the Zanu-PF regime.

Mnangagwa, in 2019, set today (25 October) as the designated day for the denunciation of sanctions imposed by Western countries on Zimbabwe.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has since issued a statement calling for the unconditional lifting of the sanctions.

SADC argues that the sanctions were impacting hard on the ordinary people of Zimbabwe by hurting the economy.

The US embassy in Harare dismissed the notion that sanctions were responsible for the economic collapse in Zimbabwe.

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Instead, the embassy cited corruption.

“The direct impact of sanctions on the average Zimbabwean is minimal compared to the economic devastation caused by years of corruption, poor policy choices, and economic mismanagement,” the embassy said in a statement on Twitter.

Emmerson Mnangagwa attends a rally against Western sanctions in Harare (2019) [Philimon Bulawayo/ Reuters]
Emmerson Mnangagwa attends a rally against Western sanctions in Harare (2019) [Philimon Bulawayo/ Reuters]
The UK embassy in Harare also said that the targeted sanctions on five human rights abusers, and the state run arms company, “do not affect trade” with Zimbabwe or the country’s economic development.

“To be absolutely clear, the UK has targeted sanctions on five Zimbabwean officials and one entity for human rights violations and serious corruption.

“The five individuals are Owen Ncube, Isaac Moyo, Godwin Matanga, Anselem Sanyatwe and Kudakwashe Tagwirei. The entity is the Zimbabwe Defence Industries. These measures do not affect trade or economic development,” read the statement.

“Trade between the UK and Zimbabwe was 175 million USD last year. We are working hard to increase this.

“The UK also provides considerable development assistance to education and health care in Zimbabwe – 114 million USD this year. This is assistance in support of Zimbabwe’s own National Development Strategy.

“We want to see Zimbabwe succeed. Anything to suggest that the UK wants to harm Zimbabwe or ordinary Zimbabweans is simply false.”

Zimbabwean political analyst and human rights activist Pride Mkono accused SADC of not being honest with Zimbabwean authorities

He equally argues that sanctions were invited by the Zanu-PF regime’s disrespect for human rights, adding that corruption is playing a major role in undermining Zimbabwe’s economy.

He, however, states that SADC countries were failing to reprimand the regime in Harare to make sure it upholds democracy.

“The issue of sanctions on selected Zimbabwean individuals and institutions is as contentious as it is dividing. However, the crux of the matter is that the current economic crisis facing the country is a by-product of a clueless, carefree and breathtakingly corrupt Zanu-PF government.

“They have looted the country in every manner possible and run it like a tuckshop, to blame sanctions for the economic rot is disingenuous and face saving.

“SADC is also insincere in its approach to sanctions, they cannot just demand unconditional lifting of the same without addressing why they were imposed in the first place,” he said.

“Gross human rights violations, defaulting on debt payment and rigged elections are the reasons why sanctions were imposed on those bearing responsibility for these gross acts of human rights violations.

“The international community has a responsibility to protect citizens of foreign countries under abuse by their government, something SADC has failed to guarantee the people of Zimbabwe.

“For sanctions to go, SADC must push the government of Zimbabwe to reform and stop human rights abuses, recent by-elections saw violence against opposition supporters and leaders by ruling party activists and State security agents.

“SADC said nothing about this which betrays its bias on the approach on Zimbabwe,” Mkono added.