Bold Move: Zanu PF plots to take sanctions fight to the US


Zanu PF MPs seek to travel to the US

In a bid to address the long-standing issue of sanctions on Zimbabwe, Members of Parliament (MPs) from the ruling ZANU PF party are planning to embark on a lobbying mission to the United States (US).

Their primary objective is to urge Washington to lift the sanctions that were initially imposed on the country following the chaotic fast-track land reform program at the turn of the millennium.

The US sanctions program specifically targets individuals involved in human rights abuses, those who undermine democratic processes, or facilitate corruption. While the sanctions have been subject to annual reviews, resulting in the removal of certain officials from the sanctions list, ZANU PF MPs are now pushing for a complete repeal of the sanctions program, known as the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA).

Energy Mutodi, the legislator for Bikita South, highlighted the adverse effects of the sanctions on Zimbabwe’s population. He emphasized the significant brain drain caused by the sanctions, as many skilled individuals have been forced to migrate in search of employment and better opportunities abroad. Mutodi expressed the urgent need for the US administration to repeal ZIDERA, which has inflicted immense suffering on ordinary citizens.

“The delegation will engage the US Congress to lift the unwarranted and illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe,” Mutodi stated, referring to the proposed team of MPs who will travel to the US to present a briefing paper to the President and Congress.

The ZANU PF party attributes the sanctions as the root cause of economic havoc and widespread poverty in Zimbabwe. However, the US government denies these claims, instead accusing local authorities of corruption and mismanagement of the economy.

Mutodi’s motion to have ZIDERA removed is based on a report by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Permanent Mission in Geneva, which was published in December 2020. The report extensively discusses the impact of the sanctions on Zimbabwe and the broader SADC region. Supporting the motion, Webster Shamu, the legislator for Chegutu East, echoed the sentiment that the sanctions have led to economic losses amounting to billions of US dollars.

According to Shamu, the sanctions have not only affected key sectors such as mining and agriculture but have also tarnished the country’s image, deterring potential investors and donors from supporting Zimbabwe through investments and aid.

The issue of sanctions has long been a contentious topic between Zimbabwe and the US. While ZANU PF MPs strive to make their case in Washington, the outcome remains uncertain, as the US government maintains its stance that corruption and economic mismanagement are the primary concerns that need to be addressed.

As the debate continues, Zimbabweans eagerly await the outcome of these lobbying efforts, hoping for a resolution that will positively impact the nation’s economy and the lives of its citizens.

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