Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
ZIMBABWE has recorded a number of successes despite the crippling illegal western sanctions but demands the unconditional lifting of the embargo so that the country can fly, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Dr Sibusiso Moyo has said.
In an interview with ZBCtv on Tuesday, Dr Moyo said the sanctions and the outbreak of Covid-19 had taught the country to be self-reliant but the removal of the sanctions will see it scale to greater heights.
Sadc member states last year resolved to set aside October 25 and unite in the call for the unconditional removal of the unjust economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.
This year the solidarity will be held under the theme: “Resilience, Solidarity, Progress in a Sanctions Environment.”
Dr Moyo said the Second Republic has also made great strides in mobilising and consolidating the solidarity among the Sadc member states, the African continent and even the United Nations where secretary general António Guterres called for the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe.
“We have heard during the advent of coronavirus a call on removal of sanctions on countries which have had sanctions in Africa. This has been done by different players so I think there has been tremendous progress in that regard and even this year, the 39th United nations General Assembly, you have seen quite a lot of heads of state who have been calling for the removal of sanctions,” said Dr Moyo.
“We are saying can these sanctions be removed, they are no longer relevant, specific environment and for the specific reasons for which they were intended to impose.”
Dr Moyo said the Second Republic has stuck to its commitments towards the achievement of Vision 2030.
He said the Transitional Stabilisation Programme from 2018 to 2020 which will be replaced by the national development plan as the country moves forward.
Dr Moyo said the country has also implemented a number of legislative, political and economic reforms so that Zimbabwe could become investor friendly and that the legislation is compliant to the 2013 constitution.
He said a number of observation points made by observers in the 2018 elections were being considered so that they are part of the country’s electoral laws.
Dr Moyo said the Second Republic was also establishing economic fundamentals key to the nation’s economic progress.
“This is how the Dutch auction system came to being to stabilise the exchange rate which has now stabilised the prices. We have also enhanced our rule of law which we have always maintained so that the property rights issue has been consolidated,” he said.
Dr Moyo said one of the main causes of sanctions was the land reform which has been concluded by the signing of the Global Compensation Agreement between Government and the former farmers.
“This conflictual situation which has provided an efficient framework which would ensure that the conclusion of the land reform is finalised is what was achieved. These are all matters of progress which this new dispensation has undertaken,” he said.
Dr Moyo said the agreement demonstrates the constitutionalism which characterises the Second Republic.
He said the 2013 constitution prescribed clearly the circumstances under which land would be compensated and it was only going to be the compensation of improvements and that those who were going to be compensated fully were indigenous people or those who had been protected by the Bilateral Investment Protection Agreements.
“This affects property rights so you can see the solution of one major issue is also a solution of other major aspects. Even on the day of the signing of this agreement, the President categorically stated that the land reform is irreversible and therefore we are only following the constitution. If we are following the constitution and we are rule of law compliant then why would people come up against us to say we appear to be surrendering, it’s not surrender at all, in fact it is progress.,” said Dr Moyo.
“It gives an opportunity to open business to this country as the mantra has always been that we must open investment into the agricultural sector without the impediments of the land issue and the land question and therefore this is why the Agricultural Recovery Plan now can roll out and thank God the rains are going to be good this year.”
Dr Moyo said without sanctions, Zimbabwe would have improved the social services to the people so that the country would have been more prepared for disasters including Covid-19.
However, he said despite the embargo, the country has diligently managed the Covid-19 scourge through the implementation of various measures to contain the spread of the virus.
He said the use of local institutions, the country has engaged scientists to produce PPE and other consumables.
“If we did not have these sanctions, despite the problems we are having, we would be flying at this particular time.
“When we have taken a deliberate decision to ensure that we serve our people and that we develop and we are hardworking people and therefore we can forge ahead even under difficult conditions it does not necessarily mean we are out of the global village, we are still a member of the global fraternity and we want to be a member of the family of nations,” said Dr Moyo.
“This has been the President’s call that he wants to be an enemy to no one and a friend to all so that we can be able to trade globally with the freedom we deserve. All that we want is to be given space and to ensure that we access the markets and trade freely and have investment freely on a very competitive basis with all the other nations in the world and that is what the people of Zimbabwe want.
“We are very optimistic that given that opportunity we can be able to deliver and make this country fly.”
Dr Moyo said the re-engagement process was bearing fruit that has seen thawing of relations with some countries with whom relations had turned frosty.
Among the key achievements, Dr Moyo said, are establishing regular communication with key US political actors, signing an Economic Partnership Agreement with the UK and launching a formal political dialogue under the Cotonou Agreement.
“This country is resilient and we have got solidarity support and we are making progress despite sanctions which are there.
“We must be congratulated for the resilience which we have resembled in the past 20 years under these difficult circumstances but the issue is that we have got the support but let us then move forward and make progress as the green shoots are starting to come out and capitalise and achieve Vision 2030 for the purposes of getting ourselves,” said Dr Moyo.
“By the time we get over the river, when we have done things on our own, we will be untouchable.”