The Sunday Mail
Last week, the US government confirmed what we already suspected – that Washington will indefatigably continue to use sanctions as its weapon of choice in trying to browbeat Harare into acceding to its interests.
We are told that our small nation, disproportionately rich as it might be, continues to pose “a serious threat” to the US’s foreign interests.
It is as laughable as it sad.
Sad in the sense of the deleterious effects and intolerable suffering that the embargo continues to have on ordinary men and women in Zimbabwe.
They are felt by our elderly citizens who are perilously failing to access medicines from both clinics and hospitals.
They are felt by young Zimbabweans that cannot find employment as industry has remained shut, albeit with some nascent signs of recovery.
Also, they are felt by ordinary individuals and businesses that cannot transact because international bankers have been cowed by OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US department of the treasury) not to process transactions from Harare.
It is crass naiveté for anyone to believe that sanctions are targeted; moreso, that they are meant to force the country to promote human rights.
As President Mnangagwa intimated yesterday, no-one can lecture the Zanu-PF Government on peace, freedom and democracy.
And he is right.
Since the 1950s, nationalists, through moral suasion, as demonstrated by peaceful protests, sought to engage the minority white Rhodesian government to accept majority rule, but predictably the incorrigible racist government resisted.
This left the nationalists with no option but take up weapons of war to pursue peace.
It simply shows how peace as an ideal is a quintessential part and component of the revolutionary party, zanu-PF.
After the political transition in November 2017, which ultimately led to the birth of the Second Republic, Zimbabwe has demonstrably been on a path of far-reaching political reforms, not because the world has called for it, but simply because the current political administration equally believes in the ideals, the same ideals which drove and sustained the liberation struggle.
Last week, the Donald Trump administration even grudgingly acknowledged that there was improvement in the way last year’s elections were held.
And Zimbabwe will continue on the same path not because it pleases anyone, but simply because these are considered the fundamental building blocks needed to build an upper middle-income economy in the next 11 years.
As some opposition forces might mistakenly think, sanctions, though painful, will not result in regime change.
They need to look around the world for clear examples that attest to this.
This is precisely what Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told CNN last year.
He said: “I believe there is a disease in the United States, and that is the addiction to sanctions . . . We felt that the United States had learnt that at least as far as Iran is concerned that sanctions do produce economic hardships, but they don’t produce the intended outcomes that they intended them to produce. And I thought that the Americans had learnt that lesson; unfortunately, I was wrong . . .
“The US sanctions have always hurt. What is hurting though is people who want to buy medicine, people who want to buy food . . . we are prepared for the worst-case scenario.”
And this is why the desperate neo-conservative US government is now prepared to put its soldiers in harm’s way in order to depose Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and replace him with their proxy, Juan Guaido.
But all this is beside the point.
Africa, through greater cooperation and inter-state diplomacy, is well aware of the forces at play in Zimbabwe.
This is why there is now a rallying call, especially from Africa’s biggest economy, South Africa, for the unconditional lifting of sanctions.
Observably, this campaign is likely to snowball going forward.
Happily, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa will be in town this week, and sanctions are on the agenda.
The concerted effort of fellow African countries, which are also equally affecting them too, will only help to smoothen Zimbabwe’s path to posterity.
We shall definitely overcome! Victory is certain!