Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - South Africa’s National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo Thursday tabled a motion urging members of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) to call for the lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Currently, the United States has targeted sanctions on 141 Zimbabwean businesses and individuals due to corruption, human rights abuses and the continued deterioration in governance practices in the country.
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has sanctioned only Grace Mugabe, Zimbabwe Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, and army commander Philip Valerio Sibanda, as well as a firm linked to the military.
In a statement, Masondo said “the economic, financial and trade sanctions unilaterally imposed on Zimbabwe by the USA, the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) since 2002 have caused grave harm, not only to Zimbabwe’s economy and its people’s fundamental rights, but the entire South African Development Community (SADC) region, which continues to reel from the catastrophic effect of these sanctions”.
“We are deeply concerned that these unjustified, unilateral sanctions have a grave and unforgiveable impact on women, children and ordinary citizens of the country,” he added.
Masondo, who was speaking at the third ordinary session of the PAP, the legislative organ of the African Union (AU), said that the parliamentary body successfully lobbied for the lifting of sanctions on Sudan in 2016.
However, it should be noted that the sanctions leveled against Sudan were broader and against the economy while those imposed on Zimbabwe remain targeted at individuals and businesses.
“The government of Zimbabwe, under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has begun a new chapter and is ready to constructively engage with the rest of the world. Therefore continuing with the sanctions harmed innocent citizens and was counter-productive to regional efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” Masondo said.
He urged members of the PAP to join SADC heads of states in demanding the immediate lifting of economic sanctions unilaterally imposed on the government of Zimbabwe and its people by the United States and the EU.
He referred members to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2015 and the adoption of Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, which emphasised, among other things, the absolute rejection of the unilateral coercive measures by the international community.
“These unilateral sanctions have a serious impact on Africa’s Agenda 2063 Goals and Priority Areas, in particular Goal 6 which calls for Member States to strive for Africa whose development is people-driven, especially women, youth and caring for children. The plenary resolved to postpone the motion and debate it in the next Session,” Masondo said.
Masondo’s calls followed recent efforts by both the African Union and SADC to the United States to lift the sanctions on Zimbabwe.
-0- PANA TZ/RA 17Oct2019