The Sunday Mail
President E.D. Mnangagwa
Proclaiming message against sanctions
This year’s United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, was quite significant for our country, Zimbabwe.
Against the shadow of other attention-grabbing, multi-layered global crises, our campaign and push for the unconditional removal of unjustified, illegal Western sanctions against our nation was heard loud and clear, and gained greater traction.
Alongside leaders and representatives from Africa, we made a forceful case for the removal of these heinous, punitive sanctions, unjustifiably slapped on us for taking back our land.
Thank you Africa for standing by us!
UN Special Rapporteur stood by us
What gave fillip to the whole campaign was the tabling before the United Nations, UN, of the well-canvassed report on Zimbabwe by Madame Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures. This report, which was compiled by the Rapporteur after her visit last year in 2021, pronounced itself in no uncertain terms that sanctions against Zimbabwe are both hurtful and illegal.
Hurtful to our economy and our people, and illegal in that they were legislated for, and declared against us in flagrant violation of international law, and outside the resolutions or decisions of the United Nations Security Council. They, thus, do not stand the test of legality in international law.
Might trashing Right
That the report was tabled a few weeks before this year’s General Assembly gave greater visibility and impetus to our stance against the iniquitous sanctions, which should never have been taken against us in the first place, and whose continued renewal and application compounds the hurt and the prejudice to our people, to our economy and to our nation. They are a brazen attempt to defend racist colonial rights. They show might trashing right!
Anticipating Africa’s Anti-Sanctions Day
If the Rapporteur’s report anticipated this year’s General Assembly debate, forceful statements of solidarity with us, all of them ventilated to the whole world from the podium of the United Nations, in large measure anticipated the commemoration of the forthcoming Anti-Sanctions Day of 25th October each year, which the SADC Summit set in Dar es Salaam in 2019.
This is the day SADC chose to dedicate and concentrate focus on the campaign against these illegal sanctions. That day has since become continental, with many African countries under the aegis of the African Union using it to show and express their aversion of, and opposition to, these illegal sanctions.
Thank you United Republic of Tanzania!
Zimbabwe shall forever remember and remain indebted to the late President John Pombe Magufuli for piloting and championing this far-reaching SADC decision. Equally, we shall forever thank the Government and the people of the sister United Republic of Tanzania on the bold and enduring expression of solidarity embodied in the decision, and very much in character with Tanzania’s traditional pan-African, pro-liberation outlook.
Marshalling Africa against sanctions
Article 15 of the 2019 SADC Summit stridently declares that the prolonged illegal sanctions against our country exert “adverse impact on (our) whole economy and the (SADC) region at large”.
Calling for their immediate, unconditional removal, Article 16 urges SADC member States “to collectively voice their disapproval of the sanctions through various activities and platforms until the sanctions are lifted”.
This SADC resolution, which has since become an African Union resolution, continues to see many countries acting in concert and in solidarity with us each year on this and other days.
We are able to marshal the voice of the continent behind us. Zimbabwe is, thus, truly grateful for this great act of continental solidarity.
The campaign is paying off
We are already seeing positive signs arising from this combined African and world pressure against sanctions, more especially within the European Union bloc, and in individual countries belonging to it.
There is a growing readiness to hear us, and to respond positively to our overall re-engagement efforts and overtures.
While the United States government still remains hostile and obdurate, at people-to-people level, more and more American individuals, businesses and organisations are beginning to engage and warm up to us, including expressing real, substantial interest in participating in our economy.
Indeed, while in New York, I engaged and interfaced with many such friendly interests. Zimbabwe remains open for business, and at all times commits itself to being a friend to all and an enemy to none.
Overcoming hurdles makes us stronger
Over the years, historians and social scientists have maintained that hardships and limitations, whether natural or man-made, often beget great civilisations and lasting gains.
Challenges trigger creativity in a people.
Of course, this is no reason to crave or look for hardships in the hope these will provoke creative responses which build great civilisations.
We could do even better without challenges, especially where these come from sheer spite and meanness.
But it cannot be denied that the course to national prosperity, and to building a great and resilient economy, derives from overcoming hurdles.
Indeed, it is such hurdles — natural or man-made — which ultimately define our achievements and greatness as a nation.
We will build Zimbabwe
While we continue to challenge those nations which decided to impose and punish us with spiteful, illegal sanctions, we must, in equal if not greater measure, seek creative ways around those sanctions, so we prosper our nation in spite of them.
We cannot wring our hands in despair; or break down and cry. We meet challenges head-on.
We have God-given resources in abundance; we have the brains which we continue to develop and sharpen; indeed, we have the zeal and will to work and prosper our nation.
All those attributes are encapsulated in our ageless mantra: NYIKA INOVAKWA NEVENE VAYO!
It is a mantra we temper with patience, perseverance and persistence we summon and cultivate as a people.
For steadily, slowly but surely, we will
build our country, brick by brick, stone upon stone!