President Mnangagwa says sanctions are ‘unfortunate’ and ‘regrettable’

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Harare (New Ziana)-The continued renewal of sanctions on Zimbabwe is ‘unfortunate’ and ‘regrettable’ as they are retarding the country from developing and dealing with natural calamities, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Monday.

The United States and some Western countries imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2000 as a way of forcing the government to stop its land reforms in which it compulsorily acquired excess farmland from white commercial 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.

In a SADC Anti-sanctions day address, President Mnangagwa said the illegal sanctions adversely affected the country’s ability to respond to climate change induced natural disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Zimbabwe this year holds the Anti-sanctions Day under the theme, “Friend to all, enemy to none. Forging ahead and enhancing innovation and productivity in the adversity of sanctions”.

“Against this background of the various engagement and re-engagement processes; we view the continued renewal and in some cases the imposition of fresh sanctions on Zimbabwe as most unfortunate and regrettable,” said President Mnangagwa.

He added: “Sanctions on Zimbabwe are illegal, unfair and unjustifiable. The illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe must go now! Notwithstanding the concerted efforts by our detractors to derail our development agenda, let us remain united and peaceful”.

At its annual meeting in Tanzania in 2019, SADC agreed to collectively lobby for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and designated October 25 as the day when each member country would be carrying out activities to denounce the embargo.

President Mnangagwa said his administration stood ready to strengthen cooperation with all, in pursuit of national aspirations and common global interests.

“It is my fervent hope that the dialogue with the European Union will remain constructive and proceed in the spirit of equal partnership for the mutual benefit of our people.

“My government is also ready to enter into similar structured dialogues with the United Kingdom and the United States of America,” said the President.

President Mnangagwa however said some of the country’s sanctions busting measures were working, as evidenced by the implementation of various infrastructure projects.

“In spite of the constraining acts of the illegal economic sanctions, my government has taken a deliberate stance to accelerate the implementation of various development projects throughout the country, guided by our national development strategy as well as our collective desire to meet milestones towards the achievement of Sadc’s vision 2050, the African Union’s agenda 2063 and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are winning against these sanctions, victory is indeed certain!,” he said.

Commending regional leaders and other progressive organisations for their solidarity with Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa said : “I am also deeply humbled by the immense support and solidarity of the SADC Heads of State and Government and other progressive world leaders and organisations who have joined our call for the removal of the illegal and debilitating sanctions imposed on our nation,” he said.

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