MDC-T defies SADC call on sanctions

MDC-T has described as “senseless” calls by the Southern African Development Community Electoral Observer Mission to Zimbabwe for the party to take an active role in calling for the denunciation of targeted measures imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his inner cabal.

MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora
MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora

In 2002, the United States and other Western countries imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe at the height of human rights abuses and said that free, fair and credible elections were a pre-requisite for the removal of the measures.

The countries have since expressed grave concerns with the manner in which Zimbabwe’s July elections were conducted. Mugabe garnered 61 percent of the votes against MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s 34 percent.

The SEOM yesterday endorsed the July 31 polls in its final report.

Head of the SEOM, Benard Membe said the two MDC formations need to take part in calling for the removal of the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe if they are to entertain hopes of winning the support of the people.

“This question of sanctions must be fought by all parties to the election — to tell the world to remove the sanctions because if you do not, it is very difficult for the opposition to win the elections.

“Once the voters are told that you are suffering because of sanctions and you have agents playing in favour of these sanctions in the country, then you are putting yourself in a very awkward position of winning the election,” said Membe in apparent reference to the MDC-T.

However, MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, said it was entirely up to Zanu (PF) to make sure the sanctions were removed.

He dismissed claims that his party called for the sanctions saying the measures were prompted by Zanu (PF’s) abuse of the people’s rights.

“We do not agree at all with the report by SADC. That report does not make sense to us. We are not going to be taking any advice from them.

The MDC-T did not call for the targeted measures. It was Zanu (PF) through its abuse of the rights of the people of Zimbabwe,” said Mwonzora.

He said Zanu (PF) was supposed to take the initiative as far as re-engaging the West is concerned.

“The ball is in their court to engage people who imposed targeted measures on them. The MDC has nothing to do with that issue,” said Mwonzora.

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