George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Chief Murinye (Mr Ephias Munodawafa) on Tuesday told US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Brian Nichols that illegal economic sanctions imposed by his country on Zimbabwe should be removed as they were hurting ordinary people.
Chief Murinye, who was giving a vote of thanks at the end of a signing ceremony for US$475 000 availed by the US government through the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) at Great Zimbabwe Monuments, said the US should consider the suffering of the people because of the sanctions.
The chief, who graduated with a Law degree at the University of Zimbabwe last year and under whose jurisdiction the Great Zimbabwe Monument falls, told Mr Nichols to tell US President Mr Donald Trump to remove the illegal economic blockade on Zimbabwe.
“My message to you (Ambassador Nichols) is that please tell the great American President (Mr Donald) Trump to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe,” said Chief Murinye, who is one of Masvingo’s prominent chiefs.
“Zimbabwe is reeling from those sanctions. Tell him to have mercy on us and lift the sanctions.”
Chief Murinye’s take on the illegal sanctions had been stoked by Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira, who had earlier called on the US administration’s financial assistance for the preservation of Great Zimbabwe Monuments to be extended to the Zimbabwean economy in general.
He said such financial assistance would help the country to realise its developmental goals as envisioned by President Mnangagwa’s administration, which seeks to make Zimbabwe an upper-middle income economy by 2030.
“I cannot agree further with what the Minister of State has said in his speech.
“You can cut a limb to save a life, but you cannot take away life to save a limb.
“Our economy is our life and lifeline,” said Chief Murinye.
Speaking to the media after Chief Murinye’s speech, Minister Chadzamira said the traditional leader was right to call for the lifting of the illegal sanctions on Harare by Washington.
“Yes, he (Chief Murinye) is right, the illegal sanctions should be removed. They (US government) cannot give us support (the AFCP) on one side, but on the other the country is reeling from an illegal economic blockade imposed by it,” said Minister Chadzamira.
He dismissed allegations that Chief Murinye had used the wrong platform to talk about US sanctions, saying the economic embargo was stifling development in the country.
Zimbabwe has been reeling under the ruinous sanctions imposed by the West led by the US nearly 20 years ago.
Washington enacted the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA), which has been renewed on an annual basis by successive US Presidents since 2001 in response to country’s land reform programme.
ZIDERA orders US representatives in international financial institutions to vote against any move to extend financial lines of credit to Zimbabwe among other things.
President Mnangagwa has since expressed his administration’s readiness to engage and re-engage the world to restore Zimbabwe to its place on the table of nations under the Second Republic.