China, Russia blast Western powers over illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe. As Zimbabwe appeals to SADC for solidarity
by Keikantse Lesemela
Zimbabwean ambassador to Botswana Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro has appealed to Southern African Development Community (SADC) to ask the United States and European Union to lift trade sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Speaking during the anti-sanctions commemoration in Gaborone, Mukonoweshuro pointed out that the sanctions have affected all the foreign currency transactions such that companies are unable to directly transact in foreign currency.
To date the US government has blocked a total of USD1.2 million in producer funds and government royalties. “These sanctions are hampering development and the vulnerable people are suffering more than the targeted people,” In 2002 and 2003, the United States and the European Union imposed targeted measures on the Government of Zimbabwe, including financial and visa sanctions against selected individuals, a ban on transfers of defence items and services, and a suspension of non-humanitarian government- to-government assistance. In his solidarity message Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Botswana, Victor Sibilev said the restrictions are not only undermining the powers of the main body of the world organisation but they are also affecting negatively the population of Africa. “In the context of the pandemic the immoral nature of the unilateral sanctions of the Western powers, which seek to impose their agenda on the government of Zimbabwe which acts within the framework of its constitution, has become more obvious”, Sibilev said. He said Russia expresses its solidarity with the position of SADC demanding to lift immediately the illegal measures against Zimbabwe. “Russia intends to further facilitate social and economic development of this nation and its fight against the harmful consequences of such sanctions by means of enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation in investment science and technology aimed at fulfilling the current bilateral Russia-Zimbabwe agreements reached at the highest level”. For his part Ambassador of China to Botswana Zhao Yanbo said the impact of the sanctions is largely affecting the vulnerable people of Zimbabwe. “Zimbabwe people suffer a lot from these sanctions. Western people speak of freedom of speech and human rights so why do they impose sanctions on Zimbabwe,” he asked.