SADC Parly joins sanctions removal calls

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Harare(New Ziana)-The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) on Tuesday added its voice to the growing calls for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by some Western countries saying they are illegal and unjustified.

Zimbabwe has been under United States sanctions for nearly two decades, an embargo that is blamed for fueling the country’s economic meltdown through blocking potential investment and access to international financial support.

The embargo paints Zimbabwe as a rogue state that other nations and investors must not deal with.

In a motion moved by Angola and seconded by Malawi during the 46th SADC PF plenary session held in Namibia from 10 to 17 December 2019, legislators from the region spoke with one voice in condemning sanctions on Zimbabwe.

In proposing the motion, National Assembly of Angola, Josephine Pepetua Pitra Diakate said the sanctions impacted negatively on the livelihoods of Zimbabweans.

Dennis Namachekecha of Malawi seconded the motion by making a plea for the removal of sanctions and argued that Zimbabwe had turned a new chapter under the new administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The session unanimously endorsed the SADC declaration that set October 25th as the date for member states to collectively call for the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe.

SADC has repeatedly called for the lifting of the embargo and declared October 25 this year an anti-Zimbabwe sanctions day in which individual member countries held different activities to show their displeasure at the embargo.

In resolutions adopted after the debate, it was agreed that the SADC PF member countries embark on a move to champion debate in their National Assemblies on the call for removal of the illegal sanctions.

It was also agreed that the regional body drafts an emergency item calling for the removal of sanctions to be placed on the agenda of the 142nd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly and related meetings.

“The region made its intentions and collective voice clear that the unwarranted, unjust and illegal sanctions imposed on the people of Zimbabwe are stunting growth in the region and should be removed immediately and unconditionally as they violated international law,” the forum said in a statement.

The Zimbabwe government estimates the sanctions to have cost the economy close to US$100 billion in potential revenue flows over the years.

Through its engagement and re-engagement agenda, President Mnangagwa’s government is trying to build bridges that could lead to the lifting of the sanctions imposed over political differences to do with the land reform programme.

New Ziana

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