WHEN the United States and its white Western allies imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2001, it claimed this was done to promote democracy, the rule of law and economic development.
It claimed widespread human rights violations. We knew better then. Today, the script has not changed and we know what to expect of Uncle Sam.
Back then, Zimbabwe had just embarked on the revolutionary African land reclamation programme as part of its struggle towards economic emancipation.
Zimbabwe embarked on the radical approach to seize land from white commercial farmers without compensation after it became evident that the willing buyer, willing seller principle was not working because whites were not prepared to share an inch of this fundamental resource, except on their own terms.
The white world was furious with Zimbabwe. The US claimed the action by Zimbabwe posed an extraordinary threat to its foreign policy. Instead it demanded that the country revert to the stalled proposals of a 1998 Land Donor Conference whose terms were determined by the same racist white farmers Zimbabwe sought to get its land from. It was an untenable situation.
Although to start with this was a bilateral dispute between Zimbabwe and its former colonising power Britain, racism played a decisive role in the West forming an unholy alliance against a little African country for demanding what was due to its people.
There was a fear that if Zimbabwe was allowed to succeed in its radical approach to land reform, this could set a bad precedent for the developing world similarly oppressed and deprived. It was therefore important that Zimbabwe was severely punished and the land reform made to fail.
Punished yes, but that has not failed the land reform, thanks to the determination and resilience of the people of Zimbabwe.
But fraudulently working in collusion with quisling opposition political parties and non-governmental organisations, the US and some European Union nations have maintained their evil sanctions, all the time hawking the bare propaganda that they are concerned about alleged violations of human rights of blacks.
It was not surprising that the same sellouts who initially invited the West to impose sanctions have kept America updated on what further pain to inflict on Zimbabweans until they can get into power. They were there in the US soon after the events of November, pleading that sanctions be maintained. To them nothing has changed.
We were therefore not surprised when the same quisling politicians instigated demonstrations on August 1 as soon as they realised they had been walloped by Zanu-PF and its leader in the peaceful, fair, credible and violence-free harmonised elections of July 30.
They desperately wanted something gory to convince the world that things had not changed. The US duly obliged, with Donald Trump last week extending further the sanctions on Zimbabwe.
While the rest of the world has made efforts to engage Zimbabwe and recognise that there has been a major policy shift from the Robert Mugabe era, the US has played blind. Instead of engaging the authorities in Zimbabwe, the US has stuck to the opposition and NGOs as the points of contact. Yet its hypocrisy is exposed by the fact that its ambassadors are accredited by the same authorities it pretends not to recognise.
We were therefore pleased that President Mnangagwa has realised the futility of expecting sanity from the American establishment. Sanctions will be with us for a long time. Zimbabwe must learn to live with them, finding ways to overcome and blunt their impact on ordinary citizens.
We should stop mourning and moaning about sanctions, but unite and work harder to overcome them.
That doesn’t mean we should stop exposing the iniquity of the sanctions, but simply that we should not allow them to cripple us.
We have our resources and our new farmers have just demonstrated that with support, they can feed the nation and produce for the export market.
We are not dependent on American goodwill and mercy.
So the US should be told consistently that its sanctions are evil and are killing innocent people. They have nothing to do with human rights. They in fact are the biggest violators of human rights in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans can’t enjoy democracy under the yoke of sanctions.