The issue of sanctions has sparked heated debate in the Upper House of Parliament Friday where senators from Zanu PF and MDC-T clashed over the rationale and the extent of the effects of the Western-imposed restrictive measures.
The mover of the motion, Zanu PF non-constituency Senator Aguy Georgias, who is also Deputy Minister of Public Works, said sanctions were hurting close to 87% of the Zimbabwe population, which he said was now living on less than $1,25 per day.
Zanu PF Senator for Chimanimani, Monica Mutsvangwa, concurred and said Zimbabwe was being punished for giving land to the blacks.
“We are talking about a country which is sovereign and has got its own rights to have total control of its own resources and no other country can tell Zimbabwe what to do with its own resources,” said Mutsvangwa.
“The countries that have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe did that for regime change and now they have seen it is impossible to bring regime change in Zimbabwe.”
Mashonaland Central Governor Martin Dinha weighed in and said sanctions were illegal because they were not sanctioned by the United Nations.
MDC-T MPs interjected fiercely charging Zanu PF was seeking to hide behind sanctions while perpetrating acts of violence and human rights abuses against the people of Zimbabwe. Morgan Komichi, an MDC-T non-constituency senator said Zanu PF should concentrate on finding the root causes of the sanctions.
“If I have flies continuously following me, it means something behind my back is attracting those flies and the only way to chase those flies away is to wash my body. It means there is something wrong with Zimbabwe and this land needs to be cleansed so that sanctions do not follow us,” said Komichi.
He said the people in Zanu PF affected by targeted sanctions should desist from the culture of violence and non-tolerance of political divergence, as well as militarisation of villages.
Chitungwiza Senator James Makore said indeed Zanu PF and Zapu PF fought for Zimbabwe to gain freedom, but unfortunately after independence those freedoms were still being undermined and hence the sanctions.
Mzilikazi Senator Matson Hlalo said the 2002 elections caused the Commonwealth and other countries in the West to impose targeted sanctions and that the targeted sanctions did not in any way affect bilateral trade between Zimbabwe the European Union and United States of America as it had doubled since 2003.
Emganwini Senator Siphiwe Ncube accused Zanu PF of using sanctions as a scapegoat for the economic damage the party had visited upon the country and also to distract attention from corrupt activities.