MDC leader Nelson Chamisa says western sanctions on Zimbabwe will only go with the collapse of the Zanu PF government.
Chamisa, speaking to supporters in Chiredzi at a ‘thank you’ rally in Chiredzi on Sunday, said Zanu PF “invited” sanctions on Zimbabwe through human rights abuses, and the United States and the European Union had not seen sufficient improvements to lift travel restrictions on certain government officials and a weapons ban.
“Zanu PF blame sanctions for their failure to fix the economy,” Chamisa said, speaking at a football stadium packed with thousands of his supporters wearing red.
“Yes, sanctions and Zanu PF must go because they are twins, they move together. When you see Zanu PF, you have seen sanctions. We have said we don’t want sanctions on our country, but sanctions will only go after we remove Zanu PF. Zanu PF is the inviter of sanctions on this country.”
Chamisa said in conversations with United States officials, he told them that the MDC was keen to see a normalisation of relations, “but they must judge us on our reform agenda.”
Zanu PF attempts at reforming repressive legislation like the Public Order and Security Act as well as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act has seen only “cosmetic changes”, the MDC leader said.
Repeal of the two pieces of law is one of the key hurdles President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government must cross before United States sanctions are lifted, according to the updated sanctions law, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA).
Chamisa, who called for a transitional government to cure what his party says was electoral theft by Mnangagwa last July, maintains that the failure of Zimbabwe’s economy is not down to sanctions by Mnangagwa’s illegitimacy and lack of confidence.
“We raised this economy with (Morgan) Tsvangirai (former Prime Minister) and (Tendai) Biti (former finance minister), and the same sanctions were there. What’s different? When you have good economic policies, things move,” Chamisa said, referring to a unity government between Zanu PF and the MDC which stabilised the country’s economy between 2009 and 2013 following disputed elections.