Gambian parliamentarian moves motion calling West to lift economic sanctions on Zimbabwe

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The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) on Tuesday adopted a motion calling for the immediate lifting of unilateral economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwean Government by the United States of America, United Kingdom and the European Union.

The lifting of the unilateral economic sanctions will enable the Government of Zimbabwe to attract Foreign Direct Investment which will serve as a catalyst for economic recovery which is so needed to meet the expectations of its citizens.

Moving the motion the Chairperson of the Western Regional Caucus in PAP, Honourable Alhaji Mbow, noted that the economic, financial and trade sanctions unilaterally imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States of America, United Kingdom and the European Union since 2002 have had grave repercussions, not only to Zimbabwe’s economy and the fundamental rights of the Zimbabwean people, but the entire Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Region which continues to reel from the catastrophic effect of these sanctions.

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Hon. Mbow expressed concern that these unjustified unilateral sanctions have grave and disproportionate impact to women, children and ordinary citizens of the country and noted that the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2015 and the unanimous adoption of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development emphasized inter alia, the absolute rejection of the unilateral coercive measures by the international community.

He noted that the SADC Heads of State and Government has passed a resolution demanding the immediate lifting of economic sanctions unilaterally imposed against the Government of Zimbabwe and its people by the US and EU adding that his motion is in line with that of the SADC Heads of State which argued that these sanctions have not only affected the people of Zimbabwe and their government but the entire region which continues to be the recipients of the negative and the atrocious effect of these sanctions.

Hon. Mbow expressed the view that the Government of Zimbabwe under President Emmerson Mnangwagwa has opened a new vista and is ready to constructively engage with the rest of the world such that the current unilateral sanctions by the US, Britain and the EU are unnecessary as they harm the ordinary citizens and counter-productive to regional efforts to achieve the SDGs.

He then urged his colleagues to adopt the motion in the spirit of Africa’s long-standing principle of solidarity, long standing practice which enjoins Africa to adopt common positions on issues which affect the continent, and the Pan African Parliament slogan of One Africa One Voice.

Seconding the motion, Hon. Stars Mathe (Zimbabwe) stated that “sanctions hinder development and they close lines of credit thereby stunting economic development. I fully understand the effects of sanctions and they have unleashed humanitarian suffering of unimaginable proportions on the citizens hence the calls for these coercive measures to be unilaterally removed.”

Also speaking, Hon. Sen. John Bonds Bideri of Rwanda noted that the sanctions have ravaged the economy of Zimbabwe and are counterproductive to regional efforts of economic development.

“Zimbabwe was at one time a superpower but since the sanctions, high levels of unemployment have been experienced. Zimbabwe has been reduced to a begging nation and the majority of its people have migrated to neighboring countries,” noted Hon. Bideri.

Hon Lammali Behdja of Algeria in his contribution stated that “Zimbabwe should be given back its economic freedom and the citizens should start benefitting from the immense natural wealth of their country. The continued imposition of the sanctions is an infringement on the rights of the people of Zimbabwe. We stand together as the PAP to condemn the sanctions and demand that they be immediately removed.”