Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
The Pan African Parliament (PAP), which is sitting in South Africa, has debated a motion calling for the removal of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries, with its members saying the country is implementing reforms under the new dispensation.
PAP, also known as the African Parliament, is the legislative body of the African Union (AU) and held its inaugural session in March 2004.
PAP members requested that Zimbabwe sends high-ranking Government officials to address their next session.
This followed the overwhelming support that the motion calling for the lifting of the illegal sanctions imposed on the country received from the members.
The motion was moved by South African MP Pemmy Majodina and seconded by Zanu-PF Member of Parliament Cde Pupurai Togarepi.
For over two decades, the United States and the European Union (EU) have maintained illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe, mainly financial and visa restrictions on targeted individuals, as well as the suspension of support from multilateral funders and cessation of direct aid.
Zimbabwe’s PAP head of delegation, Chief Fortune Charumbira, paid tribute to the body for rendering unwavering support to the country.
“That is very progressive,” said Chief Charumbira in an interview with The Herald from South Africa last night.
He said all PAP members were determined to have the sanctions removed.
“In solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, the Pan African Parliament is inviting high-ranking Government representatives, the Speaker of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate, other progressive Zimbabweans to attend and address the next session of the Pan African Parliament,” said Chief Charumbira.
“The Zimbabwe land reform programme, which caused the sanctions, is a popular cause among the people of Africa.”
Chief Charumbira is the vice president and member of the Bureau of the Pan African Parliament and is coordinating the programme for the next sitting of PAP. The PAP members in unison showed their resolve to speak with one voice against the economic embargoes that have affected the country for more than two decades.
“The lifting of these unilateral eco-nomic sanctions will enable the Government of Zimbabwe to attract foreign direct investments which will serve as a catalyst for economic recovery which is needed to meet the expectations of its citizens,” said South African MP Pemmy Majodina while moving the motion against sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
Ms Majodina told the House that the Sadc block set aside Friday October 25 as a day to express solidarity with the Government and people of Zimbabwe in the fight against the illegal sanctions.
“Mr President, this House must take note that Zimbabwe under the leadership of His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a man who is set to turn around the economy of Zimbabwe if allowed sometime, if allowed to operate under a sanction free regime,” she said.
“He is a courageous leader who has already demonstrated commitment to pursuing far reaching reforms for the good of the people of Zimbabwe.”
Ms Majodina said the sanctions imposed by the US, Britain and the West stem from the land issue.
She said the land belonged to Africans and had to be repossessed for the benefit of the historically disadvantaged children of Zimbabwe.
“The sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are illegal as they are not backed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution and are premised on a reactionary stance following the land reform programme,” said Ms Majodina.
“In view of that fact, Mr President, we as a people seek the support of Africa in the fight to have the sanctions lifted. We strongly believe that the world will stand with us if Africa stands with us. Your fellow Africans in Zimbabwe are being punished for reclaiming their land.”
Ms Majodina said in view of Africa’s long standing principle of solidarity and practice which enjoins Africa to adopt common positions on issues which affect the continent, the House should debate and adopt the motion.
The other members of the Zimbabwean Parliament at the PAP session are Nkayi South Member of Parliament Cde Stars Mathe, Chirumanzu Constituency legislator Cde Barbara Rwodzi and Hatfield legislator Mr Tapiwa Mashakada of MDC-Alliance.