‘Something inside so strong’…as Sadc roundly condemns illegal sanctions Southern African Development countries

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter

SADC yesterday condemned the continued imposition of illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe, saying it is a false narrative to claim that they are targeted when they create a negative perception on the country’s investment climate.

Sadc in 2019 declared October 25 a day when the region stands with Zimbabwe in denouncing sanctions. Regional leaders like South African President Cyril Ramaphosa have said the sanctions have spillover effects on their countries.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

Zimbabweans have left the country in droves as sanctions have suffocated economic growth, putting pressure on neighbouring countries.

In a statement yesterday, Sadc chairperson and Democratic Republic of Congo President Félix Tshisekedi, said illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe have to be lifted unconditionally.

He said it is worrying that the United States of America and its Western allies continue to peddle false narratives that sanctions are targeted when they hurt Zimbabweans wholesomely.

“Sadc is deeply concerned at the claim that the sanctions are of a ‘targeted nature’ and are aimed at unilaterally punishing a few individuals.

“The reality is that there is a spill-over and contagion effect on the rest of the country, in particular by imposing a blanket negative perception about Zimbabwe across the world, in particular in the sensitive global financial markets,” he said.

“This perception results in the country being unable to attract much-needed foreign direct investment, lines of credit, and other financial services that are essential to the socio-economic development of the country.”

President Tshisekedi said sanctions restrict Zimbabwe’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic compounded by a general rise in inflation across the world.

“Zimbabwe, like most developing countries, is particularly vulnerable to these trends and the unilateral sanctions worsen the plight of her economy,” said President Tshisekedi.

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi

He said Sadc is committed to the consolidation of democracy in Southern Africa as well as the rest of the world. President Tshisekedi said illegal sanctions should be lifted and allow Zimbabwe to enjoy its sovereignty and respect to multilateralism.

“Zimbabwe is expected to hold regular national elections in mid-2023. In this context, Sadc appeals to those who have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to give space to the citizens of the country to exercise their democratic rights and not use sanctions as a covert mechanism to effect regime change,” said President Tshisekedi.

“Sadc is also committed to the spirit of multilateralism, and in this regard, notes that sanctions imposed against a fellow nation in the family of humanity must be made in accordance with international law.”

He said the bloc endorses the United National Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan’s findings on the negative impact of sanctions on the enjoyment of civil rights on Zimbabweans.

“Sadc fully supports the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur that sanctions, including secondary sanctions, and different forms of over-compliance by foreign banks and companies have had a significant impact on the population and the Government, exacerbating pre-existing economic and humanitarian challenges,” he said.

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