Zimbabweans are reportedly hopeful that
Washington and the European Union will soon lift sanctions imposed on the
country that they claim have led to untold hardships. The African Union and
South Africa made the request after main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
agreed to join a unity government with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.
The African Union urged both Washington and the European Union to help Zimbabwe
rebuild its ill economy, which has recorded the highest inflation rate of more
than two million percent. It contends that lifting the sanctions would go a
long way to alleviate the suffering among ordinary Zimbabweans who have been
saddled with an economic meltdown and a cholera epidemic. Political analyst
Glen Mpani tells reporter Peter Clottey Zimbabweans should not keep their hopes
demand by the AU and SADC (Southern African Development Community) that
sanctions on Zimbabwe should be lifted, was bound to follow after the MDC
(opposition Movement for Democratic Change) has agreed to get into the
government of national unity. And what SADC and the AU are simply trying to do
is trying and get Zimbabwe back on recovery path," Mpani pointed out.
said failure of the European Union (EU) lifting sanctions targeted against
Zimbabwe might pose a testy showdown between the African continent and Europe.
they are simply trying to do is to demand that the EU lifts the sanctions, and
if in the event that the EU refuses to do that, then it would now be an African
issue versus Europe. And I don't think Europe would want to put themselves in a
position where they are more or less fighting a continent rather than directly
fighting Zimbabwe," he said.
said there is a possibility that both the EU and Washington might not give in
easily to SADC and the African union.
don't think the EU or America or Britain is going to be able to yield much to
what the AU is saying because I think basically their argument would be to say
that these are targeted sanctions and we are going to take a wait and see
approach and see the situation there to see whether the government of national
unity Zimbabwe is going to yield anything," Mpani pointed out.
said the lifting of the sanctions on Zimbabwe could reverse the country's
economic meltdown into a recovery.
call for the removal of the sanctions is very important on the basis that the line
of credit from the World Bank and other multilateral agencies have been blocked
because of the political crisis in Zimbabwe. So one would hope that if there is
a positive response, that in itself can assist the Zimbabwe government to be
able to start accessing lines of credit from those multilateral bodies," he
said both Washington and the European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe
because of the repression among other injustices meted out to innocent
is important that people understand that the decision to impose sanctions on
Zimbabwe was a decision made by countries based on their foreign policies. And
so they would not be pushed into a position where they are forced to change
their stance regarding Zimbabwe. But what is important is that they are also
going to put demands and say we can only be able to do this in the event that
the Zimbabwe government is seen producing results. It also gives the EU,
America and Britain the opportunity for them to also put conditions, say we
cannot unilaterally remove the sanctions on Zimbabwe simply because they have
gone into a unity government. We would want to see the result of that
government," Mpani noted.
Africa's Archbishop Desmund Tutu who was a vigorous anti-apartheid campaigner
has added his voice calling for sanctions against Zimbabwe to be lifted, saying
politics should not be allowed under any circumstances to hold the ordinary
both Washington and London have reportedly offered restrained hope in response to the
announcement of a unity government, saying such announcements had been made
before, and stressing that implementation of pacts are vital. Some European foreign ministers last Monday
tightened sanctions on Zimbabwe, freezing the assets of companies based in
British tax havens for the first time. They also added 26 names to the 177
others and their families close to President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF regime to
an international travel ban.