Nqobile Tshili Bulawayo Bureau
BRITAIN has admitted that Western sanctions on Zimbabwe have adversely affected the youth and the country should be allowed to access credit lines to rebuild its economy, Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Lewis Matutu said on Monday.
Cde Matutu, who is the party’s Youth League deputy secretary, said officials from the British Embassy in Zimbabwe sought a meeting with him last week where they had frank discussions about the prevailing economic situation and how it had affected the youths.
He revealed this while addressing students at the Lupane State University (LSU) main campus in Lupane stating that it was time for the country to focus on the future.
“Last week I had an opportunity to sit down with officials from the British Embassy,” said Cde Matutu.
“They looked for me, I didn’t look for them. But what they were saying is that ‘we want to explain to you the reason why we would like to think that Zimbabwe should be allowed to move forward and get financial support.’
“The second thing that they said is that ‘we think that we are not being fair to the young people of Zimbabwe who were not there when a lot of things were happening.’ That’s what they said to me and I agree with them. That’s why I’m saying let’s not focus on what happened before, but let’s look at how best can we correct our situation for our own good.”
Cde Matutu said the engagement with the British Embassy was testimony that President Mnangagwa’s re-engagement policy was starting to bear fruits.
He said while those who imposed sanctions on the country claimed that the illegal embargo was targeted at individuals, their full effects were being felt by ordinary Zimbabweans.
Cde Matutu said sanctions had to be removed because without credit lines and financial support it would be difficult to resuscitate Zimbabwe’s economy.
“If you don’t have access to financial aid then you have challenges,” he said. “You cannot thrive as an economy when we are not able to access financial aid. Financial aid that is accessed by our country is only through non-governmental organisations.”
Cde Matutu said a mindset shift was necessary if the country is to prosper in all facets of life.
He said Zimbabweans can learn from China and America who put their countries first in everything they do.
Cde Matutu said while sanctions caused economic challenges, corruption should be eradicated as it was also worsening the situation.
He said it was everyone’s responsibility to take a stand against corruption.
“Who is going to stop that behaviour? It’s not those who are stealing because they are benefiting from it. It is us when you look at things you would expect other people to stand up and solve them, but I will tell you that no one is comfortable with bad things,” said Cde Matutu.
During the discussion, students spoke about their challenges such as shortage of accommodation, unbalanced diet and water problems.
They said the challenges were infringing on their rights to quality education.