Former Minister of Education, David Coltart has revealed that his personal point of view is that sanctions against Zimbabwe should be removed as they do not work and only serve to give Zanu-PF an excuse for its failures. Coltart emphasised that he has had these sentiments since 2009. These sentiments are almost the same as those expressed by writer Peter Godwin when he appeared before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Tuesday. Responding to a question from the United States Senator Corey Booker, Godwin suggested that sanctions could be temporarily lifted against Zimbabwe and reinstated if President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government did not institute reforms. Godwin echoed Coltart’s sentiments saying that the sanctions had been used as a convenient excuse by Zanu-PF for its failures to run the country because of corruption, incompetence and patronage.
Speaking onTwitter, Coltart said :
Let me put this out there – it is a personal view not necessarily one which reflects the MDC Alliance position: I have publicly argued since 2009 that all sanctions against #Zimbabwe should be removed. They are well beyond their sell by date & only help ZANU PF as an excuse.
Godwin, on the other hand, told the United States Senate:
It shields them from the consequences of their own mismanagement. Bear in mind, that Zimbabwe as far as I understand it has the fastest shrinking economy in the history of peacetime economies….It’s pure incompetence, corruption and patronage.
…I am almost hesitant to mention this. You flip the sanctions that you have got now… a reverse sunset clause where you say I will tell you what we will do. You have got this new government, we will give you the benefit of the doubt for six months or say until the next elections. We are going to drop all sanctions but they will automatically go back on if you don’t meet these benchmarks, the benchmarks we have all been talking about. The ones where there is pretty wide agreement on in civic society. That way you take away the excuse of sanctions and whatever.