SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken the issue of the illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe directly to White House where he told the US President Joe Biden that the sanctions are adversely affecting the economies of the entire Sadc region.
President Ramaphosa who was on a State visit to the US last week, said he raised the issue of sanctions against Zimbabwe during his meeting with Mr Biden.
The US and its allies imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe after the country implemented the land reform programme to correct the skewed land ownership which favoured the minority White people.
President Ramaphosa said during his meeting with Mr Biden, he made it clear that the sanctions were not only affecting Zimbabwe but the entire Sadc region.
“We argued that the sanctions that have been imposed on Zimbabwe have a collateral damage on us as South Africa in the sense that they weaken the Zimbabwean economy resulting in Zimbabweans leaving their country in droves going to neighbouring countries such as SA, Botswana and Namibia,” said President Ramaphosa.
The African Union (AU) has repeatedly called for the unequivocal removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe saying they are worsening the economic and humanitarian situation in the country. The AU has said the sanctions imposed on the country more than 20 years ago, have worsened the living conditions of Zimbabweans.
A United Nations special rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Professor Alena Douhan who was in Zimbabwe last year on a fact-finding mission, said in her report that the sanctions had exacerbated Zimbabwe’s economic and humanitarian crisis.
Sadc Heads of State and Government in 2019 proclaimed 25 October as a day of solidarity with the Zimbabwean people against sanctions. On this day member states engage in different activities to mark the Sadc Anti-Sanctions Day.
Sadc, the AU and the rest of the progressive world are agreed that illegal sanctions have had devastating effects on the lives of Zimbabweans.
Sadc has said the lifting of the sanctions will facilitate Zimbabwe’s socio-economic recovery and enable the country to meet its national and regional economic development plans as well as effectively manage its international obligations.
Zimbabwe has, as a result of the illegal sanctions, been finding it difficult to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) which is key in global rebuilding of economies.
The sanctions increase the perception that Zimbabwe is in the high-risk profile category thereby diminishing the credibility of investment and investor confidence while exacerbating investment risks.
Apart from discouraging foreign investors from coming to Zimbabwe, the sanctions have seen many local companies failing to retool or get working capital. It is a fact that the sanctions have not only affected Zimbabwe but the entire Sadc region.
The calls for the lifting of the illegal sanctions have come from across the globe and it is our fervent hope that now that President Ramaphosa has engaged the US President Mr Biden over the issue, the voice of reason will prevail.