We commend the call by SADC for the western powers, led by the United States and the European Union, to lift sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe almost two decades ago.
That the sanctions have had debilitating effects on the country is there for everyone to see. The country has struggled economically, resulting in hardships for the people, with millions crossing the borders into neighbouring countries while others have migrated further afield in Europe, the Americas, Australia, Asia and other areas to seek greener pastures.
Elsewhere in this issue, we carry a story in which SADC chairperson and Namibian President Hage Geingob condemned the sanctions, calling for the removal. He said SADC had noted that there was hidden hand bent on derailing Zimbabwe’s economic reform agenda.
“The Consultative Meeting of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) heads of State and Government, held on 9 February 2019, received a briefing from His Excellency, Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, on the current political and socio-economic developments in the country,” said President Geingob.
“The SADC Heads of State and Government further noted that the Government efforts to transform the economy and bring about prosperity to the people of Zimbabwe are negatively affected by the illegal sanctions that were imposed on the country since the early 2000s.
“SADC expresses its solidarity with the Government and the people of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and calls upon the international community to unconditionally lift all sanctions imposed on the country,” President Gengob said.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose country is the largest economy in the region and a host to millions of Zimbabweans, has also voiced his concern over the sanctions.
He said for Zimbabwe to embrace democracy fully and move ahead, sanctions needed to be out of the way.
President Ramaphosa said the West needed to remove the sanctions against Zimbabwe to allow it to trade seamlessly on the global market.
And who better to support the call for the lifting of the sanctions than SADC, the regional bloc, whose members have borne the brunt as more and more Zimbabweans flock to their countries in search of employment?
We hope the local opposition, the MDC alliance, and its acolytes in the labour movement and the non-governmental organisations sector realises that their call for sanctions will never have currency in the region and elsewhere across Africa.
We do not believe vilifying the Government and calling for demonstrations and strikes is the right way to address the country's probems. Zimbabwe's economic challenges will not be addressed overnight but these require everybody, the opposition included, to put their hands on the deck.
As we have said before, the time for politicking in Zimbabwe is long gone and Zimbabweans must find each other. The call for dialogue by President Emmerson Mnangagwa should be embraced by all as this is the only way the country can chart its way forward without meddlesome outsiders.
We believe it is only through dialogue that the people of Zimbabwe can find each other so as to forge a path towards developing this country. The generality Zimbabweans are tired of politics and have suffered for a long time as politicians played ping-pong with their lives.
Zimbabwe must be allowed to chart its own chart towards economic emancipation for its people and the sooner the western powers realise this, the better for everyone.