UN rights envoy visit rescues govt’s tired anti-sanctions mantra

By Nkosana Dlamini

Government has taken full use of the high profile visit by UN Special Rapporteur on Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on Human Rights Alena Douhan to piggyback its anti-sanctions mantra, long reduced to a dull chorus with each passing year under an unmoved West.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa Monday took time to officially receive the rights envoy who is on a 10-day working visit to the troubled country.

The UN rights chief is set to meet various stakeholders within government, civil society and other relevant quarters.

She is set to collate her finding after which she will hold a joint press conference with Zimbabwe where she will share her preliminary findings.

The final report will be tabled in September 2022 in Geneva.

However, government apologists have set Twitter abuzz, excitedly drawing free visit mileage brought by her visit to revive the call for sanctions imposed on the country by Europe and the US nearly two decades ago to be scrapped.

“…There is no question on the deleterious impact of Sanctions on this country. Let’s all speak with one voice on #ZimSanctionsMustGo,” government spokesperson Nick Mangwana Tweeted Sunday.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba, writing under his handle, @Jamwanda2 has also been profusely tapping away over Douhan’s visit and the impact of sanctions on Zimbabwe.

“One has to be a very bald mind to brag last week’s pseudo-events were meant to deflect world attention on illegal sanctions. Or to dissuade us from going for by-elections!! #NoToIllegalSanctions!!!” he said while referring to the alleged attack on MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s convoy by Zanu PF supporters in Masvingo last week.

Zanu PF has been a lone voice in the wilderness, shouting for the scrapping of a travel embargo and asset freeze imposed on the country’s leaders, military top brass, associated firms and individuals accused of aiding the suppression of human rights and corruption under the current regime.