MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora Friday called for the immediate removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and Western countries.
Mwonzora made the remarks while addressing journalists at his party’s headquarters in Harare in response to the State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered by President Emmerson Mnangagwa Thursday.
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He said the sanctions were being used by the ruling Zanu PF party to mask high-level corruption in government and the incompetence exhibited by President Mnangagwa’s administration. He said:
We also agree that Zimbabwe’s international isolation must now be removed.
This international isolation is not benefiting the people of Zimbabwe rather it is benefitting the very people targeted by the sanctions.
If you go to Borrowdale, Glen Lorne, Mt Pleasant Heights, all those rich suburbs, you will see new buildings being constructed, sometimes by the very people that the sanctions are supposed to target.
We believe that sanctions, as things stand, give a ready explanation for people to explain away their incompetence. They also, unfortunately, lead to opaqueness in our systems.
People smuggle gold on the basis that there are sanctions. So, that excuse must be removed.
Mwonzora added that MDC founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, travelled to Australia in 2012 where he advocated for the removal of sanctions on the basis that these sanctions were hurting the very people that they were meant to protect.
He added that Zimbabwe has been under sanctions for over two decades but the lives of the masses have not improved, “therefore, we think that they are not working.”
The U.S. and its allies imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe at the turn of the millennium citing gross violation of human rights during and after the fast-track land reform programme.