Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states have called for the immediate removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe saying the country has suffered a lot since the sanctions were imposed in 2001.
Tanzanian High Commissioner and Malawi’s Dean of Diplomatic Missions, Benedicto Mashiba, led diplomats in making a joint statement on Monday at Tanzania Embassy in Lilongwe.
“The harmful effects of the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe economy since 2001 have devastating effects on all Zimbabweans resulting in distressing effects on trade and investment for the country.
“We are aware that Zimbabwe has lost billions of United States dollars over the past 20 years due to these illegal economic sanctions,” he said.
The joint statement was co-signed by five diplomatic envoys, namely Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe says, the 16 member states organ will stand with Zimbabwe as the economic, political and social effects of the sanctions are felt throughout the region.
“We are cognizant of the major developmental strides being taken by the current harsh and illegal economic sanctions imposed on the Government and people of Zimbabwe, under the theme adopted by Zimbabwe for 2021, ‘Friend to All, Enemy to none: Forging ahead and enhancing productivity in Adversity of Sanctions.”
“We voice our disapproval and condemnation of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and call for the immediate removal of these sanctions as Zimbabwe has made concerted efforts towards engagement with the international community in line with Zimbabwe’s mantra, ‘Friend to all, Enemy to none,” the statement reads.
Incidentally, President of Malawi and Chairperson for SADC, President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera on Monday released his statement, calling for the lifting of all sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe.
“As SADC, we are concerned by the continuation of sanctions on some individuals or entities of Zimbabwe and hereby call for the unconditional and immediate lifting of these sanctions. There is no doubt that this lifting will facilitate socio-economic recovery, and enable Zimbabwe meet her national and regional economic development plans as well as effectively manage her international obligations.”
“As a Region, we remain adamant that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, whether targeted or restrictive, are a fundamental constraint and hindrance to the country’s prospects of economic recovery, human security and sustainable growth.”
“The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the recent devastating cyclones Chalane (December 2020) and Eloise (February 2021) have mounted added socio-economic pressures that continue to impact negatively on the lives and livelihoods of the people of Zimbabwe,” part of the statement signed by Chakwera stated.
Zimbabwe faced the imposition of sanctions following the land reforms policy which culminated into some whites losing their land to government, during Robert Mugabe era.-( By Mphatso Nkuonera, MANA)