by Innocent Mujeri
Zimbabweans have welcomed South African President and African Union Chairperson, Cyril Ramaphosa, for his statement on the removal of the sanctions on Zimbabwe at the 75th virtual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) yesterday.
President Ramaphosa told the global gathering that the economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and Sudan should be lifted to allow their governments to respond adequately to the pandemic.
President Ramaphosa’s statement was welcomed by many Zimbabweans who said the sanctions on Zimbabwe had negatively affected people’s lives, hence they should be removed immediately.
Leader of the opposition Labour, Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) Linda Masarira said she supported President Ramaphosa’s call for sanctions on Zimbabwe to be removed, as they have outlived their purpose.
“I support what President Ramaphosa said at UNGA for sanctions on Zimbabwe to be removed. These illegal sanctions have hurt our economy and have made life to be miserable to many Zimbabweans. As LEAD, we say sanctions on Zimbabwe should be immediately removed to allow the country to effectively fight against COVID-19,” said Masarira.
Masarira further said those who still thought that the sanctions were targeted were living on another planet.
“Those who say sanctions are targeted are living in their own world. If sanctions were targeted, then they were missed targets as they have done more harm on the people of Zimbabwe. I urge other world leaders when they address UNGA to emulate President Ramaphosa’s call for sanctions on the country to be unconditionally removed,” said Masarira.
Masarira further said that by maintaining sanctions on Zimbabwe, the West had shown the World that they don’t care about Zimbabwean lives.
“Currently, the country is battling COVID-19, but sanctions are hindering the Government to effectively deal with this pandemic. Like what President Ramaphosa said, sanctions should be removed to allow the country to improve economically and also to effectively fight against this pandemic,” added Masarira.
MDC-T National Chairperson, Morgan Komichi also commended President Ramaphosa for calling on the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“We as the MDC-T support the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe. Those who still want sanctions on Zimbabwe to remain are either selfish, unpatriotic or have no empathy for the people of Zimbabwe,” said Komichi.
Komichi said Zimbabweans should not wait for other people to call for the removal of sanctions, but that should be everyone’s duty.
“We must not wait for world leaders to call for the removal of sanctions. We as Zimbabweans must remove our political jackets and call for the removal of sanctions with one voice. These sanctions are hurting everyone regardless of political affiliation. The West should immediately remove sanctions so that the country can also be equipped to fight COVID-19,” added Komichi.
The European Union (EU) and the United States of America imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002, after the country embarked on Land Reform Programme meant to address historical land inequity.
Since then, Zimbabwe and many other countries have been calling for the removal of sanctions, as they have crippled the country’s economy and threatened people’s lives.
Last year, SADC countries declared October 25 as solidarity day against illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and resolved to conduct various activities, on the day, in their respective countries to resoundingly call for the immediate removal of the sanctions.