Zimbabwe cancer patients are suffering as one of the leading hospitals Parirenyatwa cannot transfer money to repair radiotherapy machines that broke down recently because of sanctions on the country.
This dispels the often stated argument by the West that sanctions on Harare, imposed 16 years ago, only affect Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front politicians on the sanctions list.
The Ministry of Information today said the government released US$53 000 to the hospital last week for the repair of the machines but the hospital could not transfer the money to South Africa.
This was confirmed by the hospital chief executive Noah Madziva who said though the repair cost had risen to US$70 000 and the hospital had raised the extra US$17 000 it was not able to transfer the money to South Africa.
Although the West often argues that sanctions on Zimbabwe are against individuals, Britain’s Minister for Europe and the Americas, Alan Duncan, yesterday said the sanctions impose an arms embargo and other financial, immigration and trade restrictions, including on the trade in goods and technology that may be used for internal repression.
The radiotherapy centre at Parirenyatwa normally treats 60 patients a day.