By Nkosana Dlamini
President Emmerson Mnangagwa says his government will no longer allow western imposed sanctions to continue suppressing the country’s quest to restore economic prosperity, in a surprise departure from the Zanu PF led administration’s habitual scapegoating for the national rot.
Mnangagwa, some top Zanu PF politicians and several officials within the country’s security apparatus as well as associated firms were placed on targeted US and European sanctions blacklist soon after the turn of the century.
The measures meant they could not travel to the US or Europe as well as strike deals with firms associated with the powerful countries.
The measures were imposed in the ostensible response to alleged poll fraud, unbridled high level corruption, state sponsored rights abuses and the systematic suppression of democracy by the then Robert Mugabe led government.
Blamed for presiding over the worst forms of economic mismanagement past two decades, government has conveniently cited sanctions as the albatross around the country’s failure to reverse the ruin.
Government has often demanded the opposition MDC to use its friendship with the West to encourage the latter to scrape sanctions on the country.
Although they have been relaxed gradually with a handful individuals – both living and late – being delisted, Western countries have elected to keep the measures in place in the hope this will finally lead to the elusive change of behaviour within a perceivably unrepentant Zimbabwean authority.
But speaking while officiating at the Wings and Commissioning Parade for the Number 68 Pilot Training Course at Josiah Tungamirai Airbase in Gweru Friday, Mnangagwa said his government has taken the robust stance not to allow sanctions to determine its economic trajectory.
“My government has taken the position that the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe must no longer hold us back in our quest to leapfrog our socio-economic development.
“Let us, therefore, maintain focus towards the realisation of the goals we have set for ourselves with regards to the modernisation, industrialisation and growth of every facet of our great country,” said Mnangagwa.
Government maintains the sanctions were imposed as a form of punishment for embarking on a land reform programme which displaced thousands of white landowners of European descent.