Herald Reporter
MDC-T national executive member and Hatfield legislator Mr Tapiwa Mashakada yesterday conceded that there were sanctions imposed by the West on Zimbabwe and Harare should devise ways to bust them and move forward.

The statement is a climb down from his party’s position which has for a long time denied that there were economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, preferring to call them “restrictive measures”, a term that had been equally used by the European Union and the United States who imposed the illegal sanctions.

Mr Mashakada said this in the National Assembly while moving a motion on calling the Government to address macroeconomic fundamentals.

“On sanctions, we cannot continue to groan on something that has already happened,” he said. “Let’s look at how other countries managed to deal with sanctions. How big companies like Zeco, Zisco were built under Rhodesian sanctions and survived. Let’s think outside the box.”

Economists have estimated that the effects of sanctions have cost the country more than $44 billion in the last decade.

The MDC-T led by Mr Morgan Tsvangirai called for the EU and the United States to impose illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe after they lost the 2000 general elections. In his debate, Mr Mashakada said there was need to deal with corruption that had severely affected the economy.

He said there was need for people to correctly process goods and services to avoid inflation. Mr Mashakada said property owners were charging properties for as much as $1 million and rentals were as high as $250 per month, which he said was astronomical.

“I put it to you that there is latent inflation in this country,” he said. “Our people are experiencing excruciating poverty.”

The debate was characterised by heckling and jeering which saw Chegutu West MP Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF) being ejected from the chamber for disorderly conduct. Acting Speaker of the National Assembly Cde Melody Dziva ejected Cde Nduna after he continuously rose on a point of order despite the fact that she had made a ruling.

Sergeant at Arms Mr Nicholas Marufu had to move in to escort Cde Nduna who tried in vain to appeal to Cde Dziva to remain in the House.

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