March against sanctions a banal, scapegoating exercise

Candour Nqaba Matshazi

THIS lot do not get it, do they?

Or maybe they are deliberately obtuse?

When I first read that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was due to address an anti-sanctions march, I thought it was one of those social media jokes.

I thought I would see memes and the joke, as jokes are usually ephemeral, would soon pass.

Imagine my horror in learning that this was true and Zanu PF was organising to demonstrate against sanctions.

It hit me then that maybe we are expecting too much from this lot.

They have spent many years in politics but they are basically greenhorns with little or no understanding of how the world works.

The world has long moved on and Zimbabweans, particularly Zanu PF, somehow believe the world owes us a living.

There is that group that is camped at the American embassy in Harare, in probably the most futile exercise ever in the history of mankind and now Zanu PF wants to take this a notch higher.

It is quite a banal exercise, copied no doubt from our friends in Venezuela, but it will not yield anything.

I have come believe that Zanu PF is not genuine about having sanctions removed, instead the party is happy to have a convenient scapegoat for its jaw-dropping failures.

If Zanu PF was sincere about getting sanctions removed, then they know what has to be done.

Implementing reforms would be in Zimbabwe’s interests rather than those of the west and so the question is why is the Zimbabwean government so averse to reforms that it is willing to do anything but implement reforms?

Zanu PF would rather have its rugged members camp outside the US embassy, braving all the elements, but the party will not bother with sincere reforms for the benefit of the generality of Zimbabweans.

Do not get me started on that anti-sanctions day set aside by Sadc — a grouping of spineless leaders, who lack the cojones to demand that Zimbabwe does the right thing and instead are happy to look aside when their
neighbour violates basic tenets of its Constitution.

Zanu PF will dip into its very shallow pockets next week — and no doubt into the skint State coffers — to host a demonstration against sanctions, what a waste of money.

The ruling party would rather use millions of US dollars in taxpayers’ money to pay American firms to lobby on Zimbabwe’s behalf in the forlorn hope that sanctions would be removed, but the party still will not
implement key reforms.

In simple terms, Zanu PF hopes putting lipstick on a pig would somehow make it more beautiful.

To be honest, the amended Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act (Zidera) is quite a tough law, but if its measures are implemented, it is Zimbabweans that gain not the Americans.

So if Zanu PF and by extension this government is serious about improving our lives, then the answer lies with Zimbabwe implementing reforms and not squealing about sanctions at every turn.

Anyone who has read the new Zidera and has half a brain will not bother to march against sanctions, but instead will demand that the government implement reforms.

I am going to look at some of the demands in that law, with the overarching question being: How will Zimbabweans be harmed by implementing such laws?

Zidera demands an independent electoral body to run elections and it also demands that soldiers should be nowhere near the electoral processes, something that I find quite reasonable and I am sure you do too, dear
reader.

In addition, Zidera prescribes that all political parties should receive equitable access to State media, something that is already in black and white in the Constitution that we voted for six years ago, so I do not
get what the issue really is.

Zidera also wants the government to account for all diamond revenues, show me any Zimbabwean who does not want this and I will show you a fool.

A sceptic may ask what interest the US has in our diamonds; Zimbabwe is facing a massive drought and if we had used our diamond revenue in a responsible manner we would not be feeling the effects of the drought.

Now with the drought, guess who is feeding us, the American taxpayer and once they start giving us money, they have every right to demand accountability and transparency.

Zidera also wants the government to acknowledge and apologise for past human rights violations like Gukurahundi and Murambatsvina.

Please walk with me here, why would anyone find this offensive to a point of leaving their house to demonstrate?

Zidera wants the Zimbabwean government to protect its citizens and account for missing activists like Itai Dzamara and Paul Chizuze.

The US law also wants Zimbabwe to honour Sadc tribunal rulings; Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has gone some way in doing this, by setting aside some amounts for the compensation of white commercial farmers, so I am
guessing this is not one of the issues that Zanu PF supporters will be demonstrating against next week.

For the life of me, I do not understand why sanctions are such an issue and are dominating discourse.

I am actually angry at myself for writing this, because it breathes new life into the sanctions debate, but I am more appalled at those that abhor reforms and are willing to go to all manner of extents to block
reforms.

Zimbabwe should just implement its Constitution and then we can reopen the sanctions debate.

Any march or campaign or anything other than reforms and fully implementing the Constitution is a futile attempt at getting sanctions removed.

The government knows the right thing to do, but it will try its utmost best not to do it.

1 Comment

  1. Whether it’s a “banal and scapegoating exercise” is neither here nor there. It’s their democratic right to march for whatever as long as they do not infringe on the rights of non-marchers like MDC mobs do.

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