CHURCHES have added their voice to the call for the lifting of travel and trade sanctions imposed by the West, claiming the embargo was hurting Zimbabweans, mostly the poor who are more vulnerable rather than their intended targets.
BY Everson Mushava
The call was made by businessman Jimayi Muduvuri, who is patron of the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Churches Council (Zacc).
He was speaking during a consultative meeting between Zimbabwe civic organisations and the deputy president of Economic, Social and Cultural Council, an African Union advisory body based in Durban, South Africa.
“The matter of sanctions for Zimbabweans is not a political one, but rather a matter of survival and advancing the prosperity of the people,” Muduvuri said.
“The church in Zimbabwe acts as an organisation that performs civil duties in the upliftment and relief of the poor in Zimbabwe. And thus the testimony of the church on the impact of sanctions is one of first-hand experience.”
He added: “European Union and United States sanctions go beyond matters of political suffrage, and have now crippled the ordinary Zimbabwean from participating in the formal economy.
“Without a stable formal economy, peace and reconciliation is a hard sermon to preach, however the church has kept the sermon consistent with trying to keep the people of Zimbabwe to remain nation builders and not turn to destructive means to relieve the poverty.”
Muduvuri said sanctions had robbed Zimbabweans of the opportunity to fully contribute to the economy and development of mankind.