The findings by the UN Special Rapporteur on adverse effects of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, Professor Elena Douhan, have been welcomed by the Government saying they laid bare the illegality of the embargo against the country and their serious effect on everyone.
Prof Douhan visited the country on a 10-day fact finding mission to assess the impact of the two-decades long sanctions on the country and concluded that they violated international law and infringed on Zimbabwe’s human rights.
She also said the sanctions had cost the country up to US$100 billion in lost revenue.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Manzou yesterday appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade where he said Prof Douhan’s findings had come at an opportune time. He appeared before the committee to respond to a petition to Parliament by the Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Trust calling for the promulgation of laws criminalising actions that promote sanctions against the country.
“We had an important visit during the past two weeks and if ever there was anyone with any doubt that the sanctions against Zimbabwe are illegal, that they are hurting ordinary people and that the sanctions must be removed unconditionally, the findings of the UN Special Rapporteur were very clear. I believe we will not go back to the issue that the sanctions are targeted because her message was very clear,” he said.
Ambassador Manzou said the petition by the ZAST calling for the enactment of laws to punish individuals or organisations that call for the imposition of sanctions against the country was welcome.
He said many countries across the world had similar laws protecting the interests of their nations.
Ambassador Manzou, however, said Zimbabwe was willing to engage with any country, including those that have imposed sanctions to resolve any differences between them.
Last week, Zimbabwe commemorated the Sadc initiated Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Day set aside to call for the unconditional removal of sanctions.