By Zekey Melody Pande
A declaration by SADC at the 39th Summit of Heads of States and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC )held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on the 18th of August has seen 25 October being set aside as an Anti Sanctions Day. The decision was in solidarity with the plight of millions of Zimbabweans suffering due to decades of devastating sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the Western countries alliances of the United States of America, the European Union, UK and the white commonwealth of Canada and Australia.
In his remarks during a press conference held on Friday the 25th in Beijing on the Anti Sanction Day, H.E Lt. Gen.(rtd) Dr Martin Chedondo, said ,”Sanctions deceptively coined as targeted were in reality a broad range of measures to restrict entities and individuals as well as blockade economic interaction and collaboration in transactions between Zimbabwean entities so targeted and any institution linked to the sanctions imposing dispensation.”
Different kinds of sanctions were imposed over the years among which is American sponsored ZIDERA and executive orders empowered by the American office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to intercept and seize any funds originating from or destined for Zimbabwe.
The people of Zimbabwe have endured a lot. The situation in Zimbabwe has reached alarming levels of humanitarian crisis and economic melt down with company closures, de-industrialisation, loss of jobs, deteriorating service delivery, breakdown of infrastructure and and many more. These have also led to a divided people which is one of the main objectives of US and its allies on Zimbabwe. When a nation is divided they pull apart which is the situation in Zimbabwe right now.
It is against this background that SADC decided to take the lead in the call against sanctions. SADC nations are feeling the pinch as stated by Ambassador of Zambia to China HE Winnie Natala Chibesakunda. She said that whatever affects Zimbabwe affects Zambia, the region and Africa as a whole therefore there is need to stand up united against any attacks on one of them.
SADC chair who is also ambassador of Tanzania to China HE Mbelwa Kairuki made it very clear that SADC was not going to sit back and watch as Zimbabwe crumble and they are going to continue voicing it out until the weapon of destruction is removed. He also made mention that one of the resolutions reached at the SADC 39th Summit of Heads of States and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC ) was to increase inter-regional trade and strengthen China-Africa relations.
China remains Africa’s most valued business partner through various projects outlined in the FOCAC objectives. Zimbabwe and China relationship has been consolidated through various mutual benefit projects and cultural exchange programs. Throughout the decades of sanctions, China has stood with Zimbabwe. Ambassador of Zimbabwe to China HE. Lt General (rtd) Dr Martin Chedondo commended China for its stance on non-interference on the internal affairs of Zimbabwe. He said China was on the forfront in the fight against sanctions. H.E Winnie Natala Chibesakunda also expressed her gratitude towards China for standing with Zimbabwe.
Responding to the sentiment that sanctions were targeted and not Zimbabwe’s problem, Lt General (rtd) HE Dr Martin Chedondo explained that the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe is evident enough that sanctions affected every Zimbabwe. He acknowledged that there were indeed other problems affecting Zimbabwe but sanctions were at the core.
Zimbabweans in the diaspora have not been spared by the cruel sanctions as Zimbabwe foreign students are always in a threat of being sent out of school for failure to pay fees due to restrictions on the movement of funds from banks in Zimbabwe to international destinations. It has also become very difficult to transact as Zimbabwe is restricted in many international banks and opening bank accounts h