BY VENERANDA LANGA
NORTON MP Temba Mliswa (independent) has said last week’s anti-sanctions march was a waste of resources that could have been used to buy medicines and other essentials in the country.
His sentiments came as Zanu PF legislators introduced motions in the National Assembly and Senate, calling for the removal of the sanctions imposed on certain individuals and entities in 2001 by the United States and European Union.
Mliswa (pictured) took advantage of a motion in response to the presidential speech during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) and the official opening of the Second Session of the Ninth Parliament to castigate the manner in which Zanu PF was treating the sanctions issue.
During the Sona, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he was stepping up efforts to engage the EU and the US, but Mliswa said his effort was also a waste of time.
“Talking about the political engagement which the President mentioned, it is equally important for Mnangagwa to appreciate that the current engagement with the Americans and the British is not yielding anything and I do not know why they continue to engage with people who have already shut the door for them,” Mliswa said.
“It is a waste of money and we are looking foolish in many ways because you mobilise people for an anti-sanctions march using resources and yet the Americans have already made a statement – why can we not read the writing on the wall that America will not support this current government and move on.”
The Norton legislator said the Rhodesian government led by Ian Smith managed to bust the United Nations sanctions through infrastructure development and likewise the present government must find ways to bust them.
He said the British and Americans were very clear about their policy positions, but Zimbabwe kept forcing itself on them.
“They have embassies here, but government has spent US$2 million hiring a person in America to network with the embassies instead of us putting that money into very important sectors.
We have hospitals with no medicines, no proper bedding and where nurses are not well remunerated, but we are able to send a public relations person to go and convince the Americans that sanctions must go. This re-engagement process is not yielding results,” he said.
Mliswa said despite the late former President Robert Mugabe’s faults, he was very consistent in terms of policy and he pursued the Look East policy to spite the West.
“This government must be very clear in terms of the policies that it is pursuing. Is it the Western policy or the Eastern policy? They seem to be running away from the East and going to the West, yet they are the very same government that is attacking the opposition for going West. When you talk about America and Britain, that is the policy of the West that you are going for,” he said.