EU, US should call Mugabe’s bluff on “sanctions”

All Zimbabweans agree that their country is well and truly messed up - politically, economically and socially. Although even school children understand the causes of our problems, Zanu (PF) leaders continue to stick their heads in the sand and vociferously blame ‘illegal sanctions imposed upon the country by the West’. Whether they actually believe this to be true or not is an interesting subject for discussion.

President Mugabe has several times said that he is going to call for elections this year with or without a new constitution. In response the other political parties in the coalition government have sworn that they will not participate in any election before the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement, which includes a new constitution.

According to civil society organizations, the level of politically inspired violence across the country has heightened significantly because of this election talk. All this has brought the country to a dangerous crossroads with the inclusive government in danger of falling apart and the country descending into chaos. It is, therefore, now imperative that all people of goodwill in Zanu (PF) listen to their consciences, cast off their cowardice and fear and stand up to say, “Enough is enough!” Mugabe is well aware that many leaders in his party no longer support him. Recently he challenged MPs who do not want elections this year to go and join the MDC. He forgot to say,”… and see what will happen to you.”

If these men and women of goodwill are not able to reclaim and reform their once illustrious party then they should take his advice and leave that party to join the majority for the sake of Zimbabwe.

Sitting on the fence can no longer do because very soon there will be no fence to sit on.

Recently Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been criticised for calling upon the United States and the European Union to lift the targeted measures against Zimbabwe -even though the GPA is not fulfilled and the road to free and fair elections is not yet cleared. Those criticising Tsvangirai are right in a way but fail to see the valid point he is making. Zanu (PF) is hiding behind a finger.

They are linking the sanctions to the reform agenda and saying they can’t agree to reforms when the country is under illegal sanctions. The European Union and the United States should, therefore, call their bluff. This will leave Zanu (PF) exposed and in a quandary because their key propaganda hymn would have been taken away from them. Also, lifting the sanctions won’t hurt the country any more than it has already been hurt. After all there are no sanctions against Zimbabwe. In fact, trade between the EU and Zimbabwe is booming and doubled during the last year.

What Zanu (PF) calls sanctions are not sanctions at all but restrictive measures imposed on Mugabe and about 50 Zanu (PF) leaders and 20 entities. The restrictions include bans on travelling and an asset freeze.

If the restrictive measures are lifted some of the individuals concerned may not even be keen to leave Zimbabwe for fear of being arrested for their involvement in the Gukurahundi genocide and gross human rights abuses. If, indeed, they choose to go and enjoy their ill-gotten loot hidden elsewhere, we can only say good-riddance. The lifting of these ineffective restrictive measures cannot stop the true liberation of the people, which those with keen nostrils can already smell.

Post published in: News

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