MDC calls for removal of sanctions

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Kwekwe (New Ziana) —The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has reiterated its call for the unconditional removal of sanctions that some Western countries imposed, as they are hurting ordinary Zimbabweans and affecting the ease of doing business with foreign companies and banks.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been calling for the unconditional removal of the illegal embargo with the regional bloc designating October 25 of every year as an Anti-Sanctions Day for the region to speak with one voice for the restrictions to be lifted.

MDC president Douglas Mwonzora said his party would continue to lobby for the removal of the illegal economic blockade.

“First and foremost, MDC has always said, even when Tsvangirai (the late founding president party leader Morgan Tsvangirai) was still alive that it does not support sanctions,” he said.

“It did not end there, myself and the MDC president (Thokozani Khupe) wrote a letter to the United Nations when the UN Special Rapporteur (Alena Douhan) came to Zimbabwe. We are the only party that submitted a document that sanctions be removed, because they are making the rich more richer and the poor, more poorer.”

Mwonzora said the illegal sanctions were affecting the ease of doing business with foreign companies and banks.

“They (sanctions) are not helping Zimbabweans at all, they are suppressing the rights of Zimbabweans, they are affecting the ease of doing business. If you want to do business with countries which imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, its problematic because they will first check if your company is on the sanctions list.

“So, the issue of due diligence is more on Zimbabweans. It takes three or four months for them to be satisfied if they can do business with you. Even foreign banks are sacred because countries like America have fines amounting to about US$20 million if you deal with a designated individual or company.”

The MDC, he said, does not have relations with countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, but enjoys good relations with democratic parties in Europe like in Scandinavia, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, and Poland.

“We are using our relationship with these parties so that they influence the policies of their respective governments. As you probably know, some of these countries are being ruled by coalition agreements. In Britain we have relations with the Labour Party, in the United States we have the Democratic Party and in South Africa we have relations with many political parties and including the ruling party,” Mwonzora said.

The MDC Alliance (now the Citizens Coalition for Change) called on Western countries to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe as strategy to turn the citizens against the government.

Some senior members of the party assisted the United States Congress to draft the injurious Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 which prohibits American companies from doing business with their Zimbabwean counterparts.

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