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‘Zim should be allowed to be part of global market’

21 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views
‘Zim should be allowed to be part of global market’ Dr Solomon Matsa

The Chronicle

Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
THE Business Economic Empowerment Forum (BEEF) has called for the removal of the illegal sanctions slapped against Zimbabwe by Britain and her allies.

In a statement ahead of the Sadc Anti- Sanctions Day commemorations on October 25, BEEF president Dr Solomon Matsa said the sanctions are inhumane, create generations of poverty, harm women and children, and promote slow genocide via the suppression of the nation’s healthcare system.

“The world was told that the sanctions placed against Zimbabwe were ultimately designed to make Zimbabwe a better country, a better nation, a better global citizen. The world should know the truth, 20 years of sanctions do not make a nation better, but instead lead to generational poverty, the separation of families, and oppress the youth while serving as a tool to kill their dreams and prevent the majority from making a meaningful contribution to our global society,” he said.

Dr Matsa said in a world filled with technology, global connectivity, advanced education, global learning and research centers, sanctions serve no place and are barbaric in nature.

“Let’s set the record straight, there is no such thing as targeted sanctions, sanctions are blunt in nature and negatively impact an entire nation, leading to the suffering of the whole society. Why, you may ask?; the answer is simple, in Africa our societies are all interconnected, we rely on each other and move as one people.

We are like a tree. If you prevent water from reaching the roots of a tree, the branches do not continue to thrive or live on. No, the whole tree is impacted and if water is denied long enough, the entire tree will ultimately die! One has to ask, is this what the authors of these sanctions really want to happen to the entire nation of Zimbabwe? If so then this is a form of genocide directly impacting the women and children of an entire nation,” he said.

Dr Matsa said because the world was now a global village; international trade is the lifeblood of all nations across the globe.

Zimbabwe, he said, is rich in minerals, agriculture and has hardworking people with the intellectual capacity to build thriving agricultural, manufacturing, mining and service industries.

He said formal international transactions require interaction with international institutions such as banks, insurance companies, and logistics companies. The sanctions currently in place disrupt international trade, as the majority of companies who provide these international trade services are prevented from transacting with Zimbabwe.

“This starves our nation of vital revenue required to support all of our nation’s industries and services both in the public and private sector and particularly adversely affect SMEs who are the lifeline of our economy.  After twenty years of sanctions Zimbabweans do not have jobs therefore the majority of citizens are forced into trade to survive,” said Dr Matsa.

Because of the illegal sanctions, he said entrepreneurs and businesses are struggling to stay in operation, placing those who they employ at high risk of unemployment.

He said banks that are meant to facilitate trade are no longer willing to take the risk of supplying Zimbabwe with foreign currency for fear of penalties as they are unable to comply with the targeted sanctions.

The financial institutions are unable to identify or separate individual transactions, therefore they simply don’t provide services to Zimbabwe-based companies as the sanctions requirements are impractical.

“The impact is that it results in blanketed sanctions across the entire nation regardless of sector,” he added.

He said Zimbabwean social services are practically non-existent as Government is struggling to fund them as sanctions stop Zimbabwe from accessing loans from multilateral lending institutions like the World Bank.

Dr Matsa said tourism and agriculture revenues have suffered under sanctions; hence the two major sources of foreign currency generation are suppressed – contributing to unemployment.

“Some international businesses are taking advantage of the sanctions and are offering predatory prices for goods such as minerals, robbing Zimbabwe of much needed foreign currency and tax revenue needed to provide our nation with adequate support services.

“Our agricultural produce, particularly horticultural products, are bought at a third of their value and traded through middlemen from other nations as there is no direct access to the end markets and we have evidence of Zimbabwean agricultural trade being blocked due to sanctions,” he said.

Dr Matsa said Zimbabwe is considered a high risk and has a low credit rating as goods and services originating from Zimbabwe are often traded through third parties denying Zimbabwe the full recognition of the economic contributions the nation is making.

“Medical equipment is either unavailable or in disrepair due to the sanctions which prevent banks from supporting transactions to purchase replacement parts, if the banks are sanctioned, they cannot facilitate the purchase of the required medical equipment and drugs

” Healthcare facilities are unable to provide vital prenatal care for pregnant mothers, leading to higher infant mortality rates,” he said.

Families, Dr Matsa said are separated for decades as sanctions force students to remain abroad even after completing their educational training so that they can work abroad to earn foreign currency to send home to Zimbabwe to support their parents and younger siblings.

He said husbands and wives are forced to live in different countries to look for work to support their homes and as a result some children are growing up without having both parents in their homes.

“The society’s pressures to earn a living, coupled with the absence of parents who are required to find multiple means to earn a living, has resulted in the increase in school drug abuse.

“Our people deserve the right to good healthcare, education, healthy food, an economically stable environment, positive global engagement, while they explore their individual gifts and be given an equal opportunity to contribute toward the positive development of our world,” he said.

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