Khupe’s MDC-T in sanctions removal call

Thokozani Khupe
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THE Thokozani Khupe-led opposition MDC has called for the unconditional removal of economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States of America and its Western allies saying they were hurting ordinary Zimbabweans, the Daily News reports.

This comes as Sadc nations yesterday commemorated the Anti-Sanctions Day under the theme “Resilience, Progress and Solidarity under an environment of sanctions”.

The region joined calls from the Zimbabwe government for the sanctions to be lifted, saying they are damaging the region’s economy.

In a statement yesterday, MDC secretary for finance and economic affairs, Tapiwa Mashakada, called upon Zimbabweans to “unite in the re-engagement, engagement and reaffirmation foreign policy in order to have sanctions completely removed”.

“As a pro-poor and labour backed party, the MDC-T laments the suffering of the people and workers who are bearing the brunt of sanctions. The economy is partly hamstrung by sanctions due to restrictions faced by corresponding banks and difficulties in accessing new capital as  (the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act) Zidera gives the US veto powers on the boards of the main multilateral bodies such as the (International Monetary Fund)  IMF and World Bank,” Mashakada said.

This comes as the MDC has been blamed by the government for calling on the West to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe allegedly as a “regime change tool”.

During the time of the Government of National Unity between 2009 and 2013, the late MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai joined hands with the late former president Robert Mugabe to call for the lifting of what the trade unionist termed “restrictive measures”.

This resulted in the European Union removing most travel restrictions on several individuals.

Mashakada called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to draw lessons from the sanctions regime and respect human rights and constitutionalism.

“The enactment of the Global Compensation Deed will hopefully close a controversial chapter of our land reform programme where land was taken without compensation.

“In our wisdom, we fought for a new Constitution in 2013 which now provides for compensation for developments on the land.

“While we call for the unconditional removal of sanctions, we also urge the government to address policy missteps and corruption, whose net effect on the economy may exceed the economic impact of sanctions.

“Economic saboteurs must be brought to book. Finally let us desist from blaming sanctions for our own acts of omission and commission.

“In calling for the unconditional removal of sanctions we must be honest and accept that some of the economic policies implemented in the past stoked inflation, the budget deficit, currency and exchange rate volatility.

“Let us fix the issues we control and not just mourn about sanctions.

“Let us strive to deepen our democracy and open the democratic space.

“Above all Zimbabweans must shun violence and respect the right to freedom of association and freedom of assembly. Indeed to respect the right to citizen safety and security,” said Mashakada.

Meanwhile, Zanu-PF has heaped praise on Khupe saying she has finally seen the light by denouncing the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

Speaking to the media last week, Zanu-PF spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa blasted the Nelson Chamisa- led faction saying they were causing the people of Zimbabwe to suffer for failing to denounce the embargoes.

“We do have members of the MDC who have recanted, basically who said we were wrong, we opposed the empowerment of our people and I think in this regard madam Khupe is now singing a different song on the issue of sanctions, she is now calling for the unconditional removal of sanctions along with us,” Chinamasa said.

“However, Chamisa, (MDC Alliance vice president Tendai) Biti and (treasurer-general David) Coltart…they remain un-repented and what we are saying is it’s never too late to say to Zimbabweans we are sorry we should never have asked for sanctions; that alone will be a therapeutic statement coming from them to the people of Zimbabwe.”

Source – dailynews