In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Zimbabwe: Taskforce On Sanctions Welcome

Posted by smeddum on March 17, 2009

17 March 2009

Published by the Government of Zimbabwe

AllAfrica.com

editorial 

Harare — THE planned setting up of a ministerial taskforce to spearhead the anti-sanctions drive and to seek the normalisation of relations with the European Union is a step in the right direction.

As we report elsewhere in this issue, Government is putting together a team of ministers to lead engagement with the European Union to revive

relations severed by the illegal sanctions.

The team, which will be led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, will also comprise ministries of finance, regional integration and international co-operation and industry and commerce.

We, however, feel the taskforce should go a step further, and engage the US that has been at the forefront of blocking our lines of credit from the Bretton Woods institutions.

President Mugabe is on record saying, time and again, that our quarrel is with the British government that reneged on obligations to fund the land reform programme, it is not with the British people or the EU let alone the United States.

Our hands have been extended for the past 10 years, and our hope is once the taskforce is in place, it will hit the ground running to ensure that the albatross of sanctions is removed.

It is also our hope that the EU and the US will also heed the calls from Sadc, Comesa, African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement and progressive people the world over that the sanctions have to go to enable the Government to provide a better life for all.

This emerging culture of holding out begging bowls to UN agencies to meet non-productive expenditure like paying salaries for civil servants and/or providing essential social services is not Zimbabwean.

We are a proud nation and have the ability to run our affairs given a fair environment and not one overshadowed by sanctions.

We feel, in relying on handouts, Government will not only be postponing a problem but will be addressing the symptoms and not the disease.

What we need is funding for capital projects that will enable us to be self-sufficient in perpetuity.

To do that we need to benefit from our membership of multilateral lending institutions like the IMF and World Bank, get investment like any member of the international community and trade with our traditional partners without let or hindrance.

For this to happen, the illegal economic sanctions foisted on us by the European Union and the United States, at the instigation of Britain, have to go.

We all know the rain began beating us soon after these countries declared economic warfare on our people and scared away investors by foisting us with an artificial investment risk tag.

These are the root causes of the prevailing socio-economic hardships, the paralysis of the industrial sector and collapse of social services.

While we appreciate the assistance of UN agencies and other countries, our efforts should be directed at campaigning for the lifting of the sanctions which will enable us to meet our development needs like a sovereign people.

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