Government has fired a salvo at the United States of America’s decision to add to its sanctions list, State Security Minister Owen Ncube on allegations of gross violations of human rights, describing the move as absurd.
The US State Department last week announced that it was adding Minister Ncube on to the blacklist with the department claiming it had credible information of his involvement in “gross violations of human rights”.
The move flew in the face of growing rancour against US sanctions policy on Zimbabwe, which is seen to be largely driven by political hatred of the ruling party, Zanu-PF, with Sadc observing a day of solidarity against the stance on Friday.
In an interview yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services secretary Mr Ndavaningi Mangwana said the country was already under sanctions and poured scorn on the Western superpower’s tactics.
“These so-called ‘lists’ have just become a farcical and a form of hegemonic arbitrary justice,” he said.
“The US brands itself a fair country but everything we have seen regarding the sanctions issue has been nothing but obstinate arrogance. I advise anyone to check Minister Owen Ncube’s travel history and see whether the US has ever been part of his prime destinations,” said Mr Mangwana.
Mr Mangwana said for the US to ominously announce its decision on Minister Ncube on the day both the African Union and SADC spoke strongly against these sanctions, betrayed a paternalistic attitude towards African states.
“The good news in all this is that Africa has spoken with one loud and emphatic voice in this matter for the first time. No amount of cynical pettiness can muffle that,” he said.
Zimbabweans took part in various activities across the country in anti-sanctions protests against the US and EU, following the declaration by Sadc of October 25 as a day of solidarity with Zimbabwe in its fight against the illegal sanctions.
The momentum to remove sanctions against Zimbabwe gained traction after the African Union (AU), China, Japan and Sadc diplomats around the world lent their voice for the embargo to be lifted.
AU Commission chairperson Mr Moussa Faki on Friday added diplomatic weight to Sadc’s efforts by calling for the speedy removal of the sanctions.
In addition to setting aside October 25 as the day of protest against the embargo, Sadc also resolved at the 39th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government in Tanzania in August to escalate the issue with the AU, which has since obliged.
Mr Faki reiterated his concerns that the persistence of economic sanctions imposed by the international community continued to have negative impact on the economy and the people of Zimbabwe.
In this regard, he expressed his determination and that of the various relevant organs of the union to continue to mobilise support for the country’s recovery efforts.
He also commended Government for its continued efforts to create an environment conducive for economic growth.
The AU, he added, will continue to support the country’s road to peace and prosperity for all its citizens.