Zanu PF takes anti-sanctions campaign to Senate

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Former ruling party Zanu PF this week took its anti-sanctions campaign to the Senate, urging the Upper House to add its voice to calls for the lifting of the embargo imposed by Western countries on the party’s top functionaries including President Robert Mugabe.

Masvingo Senator Minah Mandaba (Zanu PF) moved the motion in Parliament urging all senators to denounce the sanctions.

The motion was immediately seconded by Gokwe North Senator Tarito Mtingwende, also of Zanu PF.

However, senators from the two MDC formations snubbed the motion and avoided making any contributions towards it.

Former ruling party senators wanted the Upper House to acknowledge that sanctions were hurting ordinary people and that they were a political tool meant to ensure continued exploitation of developing countries by their former colonisers.

“Close to 8% of our population has been driven to extreme poverty and are living on less than $1,25 a day. Our economy has continued to shrink (to an extent) that we are now the third smallest economy in Sadc,” said Mtingwende.

“I, therefore, madam President, call on this august House to join in united action to adopt this motion that our inclusive government files a class action suit against the EU sanctions and restrictive measures,” she said.

Mtingwende likened the sanctions to HIV and Aids and said when the scourge was first reported, a lot of people did not believe it was a reality and said if Zimbabweans did not recognise that sanctions were real, they would end up subjected to abject poverty.

However, the European Union and the MDC-T have argued that sanctions were not hurting ordinary Zimbabweans, except the 160 Zanu PF officials and their companies.

Chisipite Senator Obert Gutu (MDC-T) said the anti-sanctions crusade was a desperate sideshow meant to hoodwink people into believing sanctions were responsible for the country’s economic challenges.

“This is complete and unadulterated nonsense. I have read Zidera (Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act) back to front and I hereby challenge any right-thinking person to show me the number of times that Zidera has been invoked to deny Zimbabwe access to both domestic and offshore lending,” Gutu said.