Sanction desperation

handwriting_200_132EDITOR - I am totally alarmed by the recent actions of Zanu (PF) in trying to stop the targeted sanctions which they blame for ruining the economy.

To think that two million signatures from a party known for using violence and cohesion will convince anyone in this world that Zimbabweans have had enough of sanctions is mind boggling. Go to the Prime Ministers website and you will find that the majority of people secretly polled are saying these measures must be maintained.

However, Zanus actions confirm what many may not have realised. The targeted measures are really biting Zanu (PF), or some people in Zanu (PF), and they show this by the way they scream and talk about them. This is an act of desperation to try and stop their power from slipping away. When you hear the President saying he is not happy in the government, this should be the reason why. They are desperate to

see the government end but they do not know how to stop it. The GPA does not give the President power to unilaterally call for elections before the reform process is complete. They have no control over the constitutional reform process. South Africa is emphasizing that there can be no elections without reform and most African countries seem to agree with that.

Another factor is that things have improved considerably after the formation of the inclusive government. If sanctions were responsible for the economic downturn, why is the economy improving when they are still in place?

For the sake of progress, I advise those asking people to sign this petition to focus their energies on reform. If you read ZDERA, most of those things listed as the items causing sanctions in the first place are still there. The government still does

not respect title to property i.e. farmland. There has been no genuine land audit or a review of the land reform process and making sure the owners are compensated. This is what they agreed to with donors in the 1998 Land Reform Conference. They did not follow the recommendations of that conference and went straight to Jambanja and lawlessness in 2000.

So their screams about sanctions and how they should be lifted without providing facts why they should be lifted or how they have stopped human rights abuses cannot be justified. Zanu (PF) should focus its energies on the reform process and making sure violence and lawlessness will not occur again. Going around the country coercing or making people sign a petition is not going to help. No one is going to be fooled by that except maybe some people in SADC. These are the people who have repeatedly failed to hold the regime to account about human rights abuses reported and confirmed by their own tribunal. They have not held the Zimbabwean government accountable for violating the SADC Treaty. Instead they scream day in day out about the lifting of sanctions. If you want the sanctions to be lifted, read the ZDERA, make sure the items listed as the ones causing the imposition are dealt with by the government. When at least they can show considerable progress, then maybe they can petition the lifting of sanctions.

I urge all of us to pray and have faith. Civil liberties, rule of law and justice will be a reality to our country soon. KILLIAN MAZIBUKO, by e-mail

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