Harare (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday met Alena Douhan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, who arrived in the country on a fact finding mission to assess the impact of illegal Western sanctions on ordinary Zimbabweans.
The West imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2 000 to try and force the government to give up on its land reforms in which it compulsorily took excess farmland from white farmers to resettle landless blacks as part of an economic empowerment programme.
White farmers owned the bulk of Zimbabwe’s fertile farmland, a privilege derived from colonial rule.
The UN Special Rapporteur will be in the country for 10 days until October 28th.
Soon after meeting President Mnangagwa at State House, Douhan paid a courtesy visit to Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi at his offices.
“I am sure you are all aware that as a country, we are on a drive to ensure that the sanctions are removed.
“We presented to them what we have done, in terms of our legislation, in terms of other measures to ensure that the effects of sanctions on the ordinary people are lessened. But at the moment, we are unable to give you finer details because we want to allow the process of consultation that the Rapporteur is doing, to be concluded, once she has finished, she will then take her findings to give a preliminary report and thereafter I think we can comment,” Ziyambi told reporters after the meeting.
Ziyambi said the government continues to lobby for the removal of sanctions.
“From the point of view of the government of Zimbabwe, we want the sanctions removed because they have affected every facet of our life. So in a nutshell, our document that we are going to give them, clearly indicates the effects of sanctions on our society and that is exactly what we want them to appreciate and understand, to be able to capture so that we can continue with our drive to ensure that the sanctions are removed,” he said.
The Special Rapporteur, who is visiting at the invitation of the Government, will meet several Cabinet Ministers, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Speaker of Parliament, Chief Justice, Ministers of State for Harare, Bulawayo and Manicaland provinces among others.
Responding to a question on whether the Rapporteur would meet other stakeholders outside of government, Ziyambi said, “She is going to meet everyone who matters. If she requests to meet anyone: that will be facilitated through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
Douhan’s visit comes at a time Zimbabwe is preparing for the third Southern African Development Community (SADC) Anti- Sanctions Day on October 25 following its adoption by Heads of State and Government Summit held in Tanzania in 2019.
The Special Rapporteur is expected to submit a report on her visit, which will be an addendum to her report to the 51st session of the Human Rights Council, to take place in September 2022.