Home » Governance » Remove Sanctions in Total, West Told

National Assembly Speaker Cde Jacob Mudenda is expected to write to Western countries and other institutions calling on them to urge their governments to remove all forms of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

This follows the adoption of a motion moved by Mberengwa East legislator, Cde Makhosini Hlongwane, last year calling on the European Union, Australia, New Zealand and the United States to lift all forms of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

In the motion, Cde Hlongwane also called on Parliament to submit the motion together with a covering letter to the European Parliament, European External Action Services, the US Congress, the Parliaments of Australia, New Zealand and the British House of Commons for them to urge their governments to lift the sanctions.

Speaking before the motion was adopted, Cde Hlongwane thanked all legislators who contributed to the sanctions motion.

“I want to thank all honourable members for taking up this motion and debating it in a very thorough manner, which shows that everyone takes the issue of our economy seriously,” he said.

Cde Hlongwane, however, bemoaned the retention of President Mugabe and his wife Amai Grace Mugabe on the EU sanctions list.

“The President, when he goes out represents the Government and any business deal that he enters into is on behalf of the country. So if you say our President can’t come in you are affecting issues of trust. Once you stifle the President, you have also stifled the country,” he said.

The EU suspended sanctions on all entities and individuals on February 19 with the exception of the President and First Lady and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries.

Cde Hlongwane, however, thanked a group of European Parliamentarians who visited the country on a mission to assess the effects of the sanctions, for telling the true Zimbabwean story and their efforts in having the illegal embargo lifted.

He also urged the EU to keep its word to totally lift the sanctions on November 1 this year when the EU council meets.

“If our EU counterparts keep their word and remove sanctions, it would go a long way in realigning our economic infrastructure . . . and in realigning our national discourse,” he said.

Cde Hlongwane said it was imperative that a select-team of local parliamentarians be created to engage their counterparts in the West on the relations issue.

“It would be very good if a select committee of members here are able to engage with the House of Commons, the Spanish parliament, the German National Assembly,” he said.

The illegal sanctions were imposed by the EU and the US between 2001 and 2002 are estimated to have cost the country about US$42 billion since then, forcing many companies to close shop or relocate to other countries.

Government is suing the EU over sanctions and the financial losses associated with the illegal embargo.

However, Britain failed to make its representation recently at the hearing of a case in which Zimbabwe is suing the European Union for the imposition of illegal economic sanctions when the matter opened at the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg.

The case, which was not against Britain but the EU, was heard by three judges from Sweden, Bulgaria and Greece in an open court and lasted the entire day.

Zimbabwe did not cite Britain in the lawsuit but the United Kingdom begged the court to be included when it successfully applied for an intervener in 2012, claiming it had a personal interest in the case.

Zimbabwe’s legal team led by David Vaughan and Maya Lester of Brick Court Chambers in London, argued that, “it is only the Security Council of the United Nations that has the lawful power to impose sanctions on a member country while the rest of the member countries’ obligation was supportive only.”

Britain managed to internationalise its bilateral dispute with Zimbabwe over land reform, resulting in its allies in the EU and America imposing illegal sanctions on the country.

Source : The Herald