Calling for sanctions on Zimbabwe is un-MDC says Mwonzora


HON. SEN. MWONZORA: I would like to join other Hon. Members in thanking the President of the Republic for the address that he made to the nation.  There is a lot of convergence on most of the issues.  We do agree for example, with some of the items on the legislative agenda.

Mr. President, today, I want to talk about two things, the first one is the thing that the President has spoken about over and over and his predecessor President Mugabe talked about this ad infinitum.  Many Zimbabweans also talked about this thing and are still talking about it, that is the issue of sanctions.  The issue of sanctions as a political issue in Zimbabwe was settled long back.  In 2008, the major 3 political parties in this country concluded the Global Political Agreement which was facilitated by SADC and underwritten by the African Union.  So, the serious men and women heading the three biggest political parties concluded the Global Political Agreement.

Article 4 of the Global Political Agreement provides that sanctions have to be removed.  So it was agreed by the then President Mugabe, Prof. Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai that sanctions must go.  On our first sitting as the National Assembly immediately after signing of the Global Political Agreement, we reduced that Global Political Agreement into Constitution form.  We took that entire agreement and made it Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 19) and Article 4, now Section 4 of that Amendment No. 19 Provides for the removal of sanctions.

On the 4th March 2009, Morgan Tsvangirai addressed the National Assembly for the first time in his capacity as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.  In his address among other things, he called for the lifting of the sanctions.  After that, Morgan Tsvangirai travelled to New Zealand, Australia and addressed the international community and said the sanctions must be removed.  Together with President Mugabe and Prof. Mutambara, they established a re-engagement Committee. This was a committee made up of key Ministers of Government and negotiators of the Global Political Agreement.  For the sake of completeness, these ministers included, Hon. Chinamasa, Hon. Goche for ZANU PF, Hon. Welshmen Ncube, Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga for MDC Ncube, Hon. Tendai Bit and Hon. Mangoma for MDC-T.  These Ministers traveled to Europe to ask the European Union and the International Community to remove sanctions.

However, Morgan Tsvangirai did not end there again, sometime in 2012, he wrote a direct letter to the British Prime Minister David Cameroon asking him to exercise influence over the European Union for the removal of sanctions.  We saw as a direct result of those efforts that in 2013, almost all Zimbabweans who had been put on sanctions list of the European Union were removed with the exception of the late Robert Mugabe and the former first lady Grace Mugabe. They were the only 2 Zimbabweans who remained on the sanctions list of the European Union.

The other company that remained was the Zimbabwe Defence Industries. So, the European Union acted favorably towards the plea of Zimbabwe. Not only did Morgan Tsvangirai end there, even after losing the elections in 2013, he had a meeting in Magaliesburg in South Africa together with his standing committee to ZANU PF equivalent of a politburo, the very highest decision making body of the party.  One of the strategic issues was to clamour   for the removal of sanctions.

In 2014, the MDC had a congress and at that congress, there is a resolution for the removal of sanctions.  Therefore, calling for sanctions to remain is un-MDC; the MDC has made its position clear.  After Tsvangirai’s death, we are all very clear, that is why I am saying that this is a politically settled issue.  The main sanctions that operate against Zimbabwe if we can go to the sanctions regime, it is the American sanctions brought by ZIDERA in2001.  After ZIDERA, President George W. Bush signed executive orders.  The first executive order was in 2003, the second was in 2005 and the third executive order was in 2008. In sanctions, in the executive orders, the sanctions targeted specific individuals and in the subsequent orders, they were targeting the individuals and the immediate members of their families together with people associated with them.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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