International Sanctions on Zimbabwe
Responding to questions during a capacity building workshop for parliamentarians on Sustainable Development Goals in Harare on Monday, Mr Parajuli said the UN had nothing to do with the illegal sanctions as they had not authored them. This marked the first time the world body has pronounced itself on the sanctions regime imposed by the European Union and United States in response to Government’s decision to embark on the fast track land reform programme to address colonial imbalances in land ownership.
“The issue of sanctions has nothing to do with the UN because these are not UN sanctions, and this is an issue between Zimbabwe and the specific country, which has imposed restrictive measures. Zimbabwe and those countries that imposed restrictive measures must work it out and this is an issue between member states to discuss” said Mr Parajuli.
The sanctions cut Zimbabwe’s lines of credit from all multilateral lending institutions, adversely affecting the economy with a number of companies closing shop after failing to access working capital while others have relocated to neighbouring countries. The illegal sanctions are estimated to have cost the economy over $42 billion in lost opportunities. Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba yesterday said the UN Representative had for the first time echoed Zimbabwe’s position that the sanctions were illegal. “The UN representative is distancing the UN and therefore distance international law from sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West. What the UN Representative has done for the first time is to distance the raft of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the EU and by America from international law, international institutions and international precedence. What it means in simple terms is that the sanctions are not only arbitrary and illegal; they are lawless when read against the precepts of international law “
To speak they need the validation of the UN and Mr Parajuli has for the first time boldly given the correct position, which Zimbabwe has always maintained that the sanctions are a gross illegality prompted by self interest and parochial racist concerns. It is about Caucasian interests, which means it’s about an anti black, anti African stance and correctly the UN cannot be associated with blatant racism,” Mr Charamba said. He added that the sanctions were imposed to serve narrow Western interests and punish black Africans hence the UN was not consulted. “It means the way is now very clear for Zimbabwe to tackle this Western malice both at bilateral as well as multilateral levels. Surely, if the UN wasn’t consulted then on what basis are these sanctions promulgated if not narrow national laws? The burden lies with those Western nations to tell the world how they become a substitute for the UN in not only trying to police black Africa but also to create punitive laws for it.
The sanctions are a crime against Africa,” Mr Charamba said. Many Zimbabwean companies and individuals lost money to the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac). Some of the companies linked to the Industrial Development Corporation, whose funds were intercepted by the US financial system include Olivine Industries; $1,9 million, Deven Engineering $200 000 and Chemplex $2,5 million. Even some individuals in the Diaspora, who had paid for residential stands to Sunway City, a division of IDC had their money intercepted. Its subsidiary companies Chemplex Corporation and Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company triggered a $2,5 million fine on Barclays Bank PLC for transactions done under embargo. A USbased couple lost over $30 000 it sent to Zimbabwe to build a house in Chinhoyi. A Chinhoyi University of Science and Technology student in 2009 was blocked by US officials from receiving computer software because of the sanctions.