As Zimbabwe prepares for a referendum on a new constitution in March and a general election, diplomats are reconsidering the sanctions in place on ZANU-PF politicians.
YesThe British, the Australians, the Americans and their European Union allies imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe so that the government of Zimbabwe would collapse, so that the people of Zimbabwe would turn against their own government and initially the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) government. I think there has been significant work done by the government to warrant the lifting of these sanctions. First, an inclusive government was created and is running. Secondly, a new constitution has been crafted and all parties are agreeing that this a good constitution which should be supported. Very soon we will go for a referendum to ratify that constitution, and before the middle of the year we will go for elections to usher in a more legitimate government that is elected by the people. The Australians and EU members, in my view, are putting in sanctions because the sanctions are only on half of the inclusive government. So my colleagues in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are not on sanctions and I am on sanctions, which means that the sanctions on me are giving my colleague in the MDC an advantage to him and his political party●
No Sanctions have been put in place for a number of reasons. One is regime change. As long as [President Robert] Mugabe exists as a political leader of our country, there is no reason to remove sanctions either before or after the elections. Sanctions were also put in place because of Mugabe's gross human rights abuses and disappearance of the rule of law. Human rights abuses are still continuing unabated with the clampdown on opposition and civic society organisations, [such as] the recent incarceration of Zimrights director [Okay Machisa]. I am also a victim of fabricated allegations that led to my arrest and imprisonment by the inclusive government. Theft and corruption have intensified with the tacit approval of new partners in the government. There is nothing that can entice Mugabe to give Zimbabwe a free and democratic election. If sanctions were put in place for the purpose of curtailing corruption, human rights abuses and for regime change, [Movement for Democratic Change leader] Morgan Tsvangirai must be put on sanctions because he has acted exactly like Mugabe did. Human rights abuses were taking place while he was enjoying this government with Mugabe. Morgan Tsvangirai has a lot of unexplained wealth●