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Let’s dialogue, President exhorts US, UK

The illegal and unilateral Western economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe must immediately be lifted to allow the country to grow to its full potential, President Mnangagwa has said.

In his statement on the SADC Anti-Sanctions Day, the President called upon Western nations to embrace the spirit of dialogue ushered in by the Second Republic and which has seen the European Union and Zimbabwe regularly holding meetings.

“In line with our vision to be peaceful, prosperous and effective participants in the community of nations by 2030, my Government stands ready to strengthen cooperation with all in pursuit of our national aspirations and common global interests. It is my fervent hope that the dialogue with the European Union will remain constructive and proceed in the spirit of equal partnership for the mutual benefit of our people.

“My Government is also ready to enter into similar structured dialogue with the United Kingdom and the United States. Against this background of the various engagement and re-engagement processes, we view the continued renewal and in some cases imposition of fresh sanctions on Zimbabwe as most unfortunate and regrettable.

“In spite of the constraining effects of the illegal economic sanctions, my Government has taken a deliberate stance to accelerate the implementation of various development projects throughout the country guided by the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) as well as our collective desire to meet milestones towards the achievement of the SADC Vision 2050, the African Union Development Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Development Goals,” President Mnangagwa said.

Notwithstanding the unnecessary burden of the illegal sanctions that were imposed by the United States, the United Kingdom and their Western allies at the turn of the millennium, Zimbabwe is inching towards Vision 2030 of becoming an upper middle economy with transformative industrialisation and modernisation that leaves no one behind.

“It is now two decades since our great country was slapped with illegal, unilateral, unjustified and unfair sanctions following a decision to repossess our land grabbed from us by the minority white settler colonialists.”

The President said the sanctions were imposed under frivolous and misguided guises by the country’s erstwhile colonisers in response to the land reform programme that redressed colonial land inequities.

“This resulted in significant changes in the country’s socio-economic landscape affecting the capacity of service delivery and lowering the quality of life of the people of Zimbabwe.

“More recently the illegal sanctions adversely affected our country’s ability to respond to climate change-induced natural disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic.”

While other world nations received various forms of aid from international lending institutions to cope with natural disasters and the Covid-19, Zimbabwe has had to go it alone as the United States has, through its wreath of sanctions and other restrictions made it nigh-impossible for development partners to do business with Zimbabwe.

“Sanctions on Zimbabwe are illegal, unfair, and unjustifiable. The illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe must go now notwithstanding the concerted efforts by our detractors to derail our development agenda, let us remain united and peaceful. We are winning against these sanctions. Victory is indeed certain,” he said.

The SADC Anti-Sanctions Day is this year being held under the theme “Zimbabwe: Friend to All, Enemy to None: Forging ahead and Enhancing Innovation and Productivity in Adversity of Sanctions”, an apt description of the country’s foreign policy.

“I am also deeply humbled by the immense support and solidarity of the SADC Heads of States and Governments and other progressive world leaders and other organisations who have joined our call for the removal of the illegal and debilitating sanctions imposed on our nation,” the President said.

The SADC Anti-Sanctions Day was established in 2019 by the 39th Summit of the SADC Heads of States and Governments that specifically set aside October 25 as a day when the whole region jointly advocates for the unconditional removal of the illegal sanctions.

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