Zimbabwe Parliament plans to send delegation to US to lobby Biden to lift sanctions 


HON. DR. MUTODI: I move this motion for the unconditional lifting of the sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe by the Government of the United States of America in 2001.  Mr. Speaker Sir, the motion to have the ZIDERA unconditionally removed is based on a report by SADC Permanent Mission in Geneva which was produced in December 2020.  The report discussed the impact on Zimbabwe and the SADC Region of the unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States of America and the European Union.

In its introduction, the report indicated that Zimbabwe’s Land Reform Programme has led to the United States of America imposing illegal sanctions under the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 which was amended with a view to further tighten its provisions in 2018.  In it, the US Government inter alia instructs the US Executive Director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit or guaranteed to the Government of Zimbabwe or any cancellation or reduction in indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the US or any international financial institution.

Supplementing these sanctions are executive sanctions, executive order 13288 of March 2003 which have been renewed on a yearly basis.  It is clear that the sanctions are all-encompassing, contrary to claims that they are ring-fenced and targeted against a few individuals. 

The EU also introduced its own sanctions regime in February 2002, while the EU lifted most of its sanctions in 2014, those against the Zimbabwe Defence Industry Company, senior Government officials and service chiefs as well as an arms-embargo are still in place.  The EU insists that it will maintain the sanctions under constant review in light of political and security developments in Zimbabwe. 

The US and EU sanctions against Zimbabwe are illegal and unjustified because they violate Chapter 41 of the United Nations Charter which states that sanctions can only be decided by the UN Security Council.  Cognisant of this, in its resolution 39/210 of 18 December 1984, the UN General Assembly called on developed countries to refrain from threatening or applying trade restrictions, blockages, embargos and other economic sanctions incompatible with the provisions of the charter of the United Nations and in violation of undertakings  contracted multi-laterally or bilaterally against developing countries as a form of political and economic cohesion which affects their economic, political and social development. 

The Vienna Declaration and programme of Africa which was adopted by the World conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993 was more specific calling on the states to refrain from any unilateral measure not in accordance with international law and the charter of the United Nations that creates obstacles to trade relations among nations and impeach the full realisation of human rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights instruments, in particular, the rights of everyone to a standard of living adequate of their health and wellbeing, including food and medical care, housing and necessary social services. 

In September 2014, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on human rights and unilateral cohesive measures.  The resolutions stressed that unilateral cohesive measures are contrary to the United Nations Charter, International Law and International Humanitarian Law and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations amongst States.  It highlighted that these measures result in socio-economic problems in the targeted countries.  In this regard, the council decided to create the mandate of the special rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral cohesive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.

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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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