ZANU PF yesterday cried foul over the signing of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery (Zidera) Amendment Act of 2018 (S 2779) by United States President Donald Trump, with party secretary for legal affairs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana saying the extension of the sanctions was unjustified.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Mangwana told NewsDay that his party would keep engaging the US over the restrictive measures. He claimed that Zimbabwe was in a new dispensation under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, but the US continued to punish the country for its past sins.
“These sanctions are unjustified and unnecessary because when Mnangagwa assumed power, he encouraged continued engagement with the international community, and we do not see the reason why Britain is warming up to Zimbabwe while the Americans keep punishing us for sins of the past such as the land reform,” Mangwana said.
“We have also had elections which were judged by the whole international community and were said to be credible, free and fair, and so we do not see the reason why America should continue to take that position.”
He claimed that the sanctions would hurt the general populace, adding Zimbabwe will not receive international funding.
“However, we will not cry without doing anything and will continue engaging with friendly nations. We will also continue to engage with America to reverse their decision,” he said.
But, economist Eddie Cross said the problem was that the Zanu PF government failed to meet the human rights conditionalities that the US demanded.
“If they had met those conditions of democracy, then America would have softened its views. We need to put our house in order because the events of the last two weeks have been disturbing because there were abductions that created havoc, not only in Zimbabwe, but internationally,” he said.
Cross said the sanctions would not affect the ordinary Zimbabweans in any way because the US was one of the biggest bilateral traders with Zimbabwe.
“It will certainly affect businesses listed with the Zimbabwe government or the ruling party, and it might have serious implications on some banks that can find themselves excluded from financial inclusion. However, this will not really affect the ordinary Zimbabwean,” he said.
Political analyst Eldred Masunungure said the US extended the sanctions because they did not see much opening of the democratic space.
“By extending Zidera, it might infer that they are saying the elections were not credible, free and fair, but they still have not issued their final report on the elections. It would be premature for any observer to issue a report on the elections when there is a legal challenge and the electoral process is still incomplete,” Masunungure said.
Thokozani Khupe-led MDC-T’s deputy president Obert Gutu said it was unnecessary for the US to extend sanctions on the Zanu PF government.
“As a party we are saying that anything that is putting the lives of Zimbabweans into more suffering is unnecessary, and anyone calling for imposition of sanctions is an enemy of the people of Zimbabwe,” Gutu said.
He said the ruling elite were not affected by sanctions because they can afford to seek medical treatment outside the country, while the ordinary persons would be the hardest hit by Zidera.