FORMER MDC Member of Parliament for Masvingo Urban Cde Tongai Matutu has sensationally called for a commission of inquiry to be instituted to bring to book those who campaigned for sanctions against Zimbabwe, saying he and other senior opposition members were paid handsomely by foreign powers to call for the crippling economic embargo.
Cde Matutu, who served as the Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Deputy Minister during the Government of National Unity, claimed in a statement he posted on his twitter handle on Friday that he and other members of the opposition had made various visits to the American capital, Washington, to ask for the continued renewal of the sanctions.
Cde Matutu quit the MDC and joined the ruling party in 2020 after claiming that the opposition had lost direction.
In an open letter directed to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Matutu doubled down on earlier tweets that disclosed how he and other key opposition leaders had lobbied for economic measures that have hamstrung the Zimbabwean economy for two decades.
“I write this letter in reference to my earlier tweets as I would like to take full responsibility for my misguided advocacy and lobbying for these viscous and crippling sanctions. At the time of my wayward, misguided and frankly ignorant lobbying, little did I know that I was shooting myself in the foot and sabotaging my own children’s future.
The serious economic downturn that Zimbabwe experienced between the years 2000-2008 which was a direct result of my actions and those I used to work with in the Movement for Democratic Change now re-branded to Citizens Coalition for Change.
“The sanctions decimated the economic performance of the country, thereby creating a humanitarian crisis and consequently impacting access to basic rights which include access to food, education and health services. The impact of sanctions by the United States (Zdera) and European Union on Zimbabwe has been felt by ordinary people across urban, rural and diaspora communities of Zimbabwe.
I understand so many innocent people died from hunger and disease as they could no longer access basic health services,” he said.
Cde Matutu said the sanctions were the product of collaboration of various nefarious forces hostile to the Zimbabwean Government.
“These illegal and unwarranted sanctions were carefully crafted by us at the MDC, The National Endowment for Democracy, representatives from local and international NGOs, the European Union, the USA and the UK with the aim of making Zimbabwe a dysfunctional state. We were fully aware that the effects of these sanctions will hit hard on the majority of Zimbabweans and not the targeted individuals.
The idea was to frustrate people so that they would vote Zanu-PF out of power, the white farmers would get back their farms and maintain the colonial status quo. There is no argument that for the past two decades Zimbabweans have been suffering from the multi-faced effects of these sanctions across all sectors including agriculture, energy, health, security, water, education, mining, manufacturing, banking and investing.
In essence the sanctions have crippled each and every sector of the economy, thereby destroying the Zimbabwean dream to many. We skilfully crafted these sanctions to exert a negative impact on the country and its citizenry over a long period of time,” he said.
Cde Matutu also said that he, alongside now former colleagues in the opposition, were paid millions of dollars for their actions. He called on a commission of inquiry to unmask those that called for the ruinous and widely condemned economic embargo.
“I and my fellow compatriots now in the CCC participated in this gruesome invasion of this country alongside Western countries who gave us millions of dollars for such an evil act that resulted in the death of so many innocent people. I do hereby apologise to Zimbabweans for waging a direct economic warfare against them.
To the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, I understand the seriousness of the crime we all committed while in the MDC, therefore seriously recommend you to set up a commission of inquiry, to look into our actions and the origins of the vicious and unwarranted sanctions, bringing to book all who were involved.
I have incriminating evidence which l am ready to present before the commission so as to get justice for the general citizens who suffer as the West continue to wage an unholy war against our economy. Names, documents, bank statements, recordings and photos that I will produce the moment I am going to testify in front of the nation.
I also urge the Government to act quickly on the Patriotic Act and the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) amendments. If we had both of these laws back then, none of this could have happened,” he said.
— Sunday News