IT is often stated that the law follows politics. No one imposed sanctions on the British, the French, the Portuguese, the Spanish or other European nations during their greedy inhumane expansionist imperialist programmes because the powers that governed European hubris then and now created and interpreted law according to their political whims.
The US among other such nations is a direct creation of such distortions. To anyone who has studied colonial history in the sub-region, the Zimbabwean war of liberation was all about the land.
While the West sympathised with their kith and kin who constituted less than one percent of the Zimbabwean population yet dominated commercial agriculture through ownership of over 50 percent of arable land in Zimbabwe, the majority of black Africans who had experienced dispossession and asymmetrical economic opportunities in the land of their birth during and after colonialism understood the need for land reform and the restoration of their sovereign land rights.
The knee-jack reaction from the West was to punish the political establishment through the so called smart targeted sanctions, including the promulgation of the draconian Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera 2001) in the US which have been deleterious on the Zimbabwean economy and the economic sub-region at large.
The concepts of sovereignty, territoriality, patriotism and national pride do not always come naturally to the citizenry even in the best of times, and more-so when confronted with hardship and abject poverty.
However, where these concepts ignite and spread, they inevitably invoke emotions whose intensity seems inversely proportional to one’s age.
Sanctions create systemic gaps in the entire economic ecology which invariably compromises Government’s ability to implement effective economic policies.
Systems thinking indicate that affecting one part of an ecosystem ultimately affects the entire system.
Hence the effort by the West to isolate and disable the executive has caused systemic failure deliberately designed to compromise all arms of Government especially the rule of law which is fundamental to property rights and business operations in the country.
The deceitful tendencies of the West are evident in the false venerations of altruism and human rights manifestos designed to perpetuate neocolonialism and iconoclasm.
Sanctions are deliberately designed to be damaging to economic development to whip deemed truancy into nihilistic foreign policy agendas.
In many instances there is lack of politically discursive engagement before their imposition and invariably assume master-servant relationships or superiority-inferiority overtures.
Sanctions of any form on any nation are counter-productive on both sides and contrary to modernity and globalisation.
The current Russian-Ukraine-NATO infractions typify and exemplify the calamitous duplicity of the West regarding universal standards of justice.
Predictably and unashamedly, sanctions have been the historical weapon of choice by the West against real or imagined enemies and or anyone with different socio-politico-economic philosophical inclinations.
Yet the West has and will invade any region of the world with reckless abandon without consequence.
Must we from “the alternative world, the un-free and un-civilised world” forget or ignore that the same puritanical West mercilessly ravaged other cultures, enslaved, pillaged, colonised and butchered to the extent of repatriating severed heads of deemed yet innocent victims to adorn their porches and museums as war trophies with precise mechanical regularity in the name of the three Cs (the Crown, Civilisation and Christianity)?
Such unfettered rapacious cruelty and greed regrettably (or is it?) are the foundational bedrock upon which modern European and North American economies are built. Most of us who grew up in the 1980s were exposed to a lot of Western movies centred on cowboys and Indians.
As young people, the action is what we sought, but clearly missed the glaring genocide against the indigenous population.
Yet to stand and to speak against such barbarism will undoubtedly and predictably attract a barrage of brick-bat responses from the so-called “civilised”.
By the US standard, any world leader or culture that doesn’t bow to their repressive whims and dictates is worthy of annihilation or sanctions regardless of domestic economics, regional political order, culture or philosophical orientation. Regrettably Steve Bantu Biko, Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and others deemed “terrorists” or uncivilised would be alive today.
How is it even possible that in the 21st century the British government – (the beacon of democracy, human rights, governance and law and order) – acknowledged to keeping skulls of Zimbabwe’s First Chimurenga freedom fighters who rose against white colonial imperialist settlers in the late 19th century after the late former President Mugabe confronted officials on the matter.
The former president is quoted as stating that the freedom fighters’ heads were mercilessly decapitated by the occupiers and dispatched to England to signify British victory and subjugation of the local population.
Indeed, this was not an isolated occurrence. Historiography is replete with such vile nihilistic human rights transgressions from descendants of the West.
Over the past two decades, a litany of justifications has been proffered since the declaration of so called targeted or smart, but illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe by the US and its Western allies in 2001.
Sanctions by the West are a standard procedure and therefore not surprising as it would appear that speaking truth to Western power often carries punitive ramifications.
The truth is that those sanctions are not at all targeted because there is no reason why Zimbabweans and the entire Southern African region have borne their brunt if they were indeed smart or targeted.
To assume the concept of “collateral damage” in this case is reproachable and akin to desecrating every convention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).
The argument has been that sanctions are supposed to force the executive arm of Government and individuals associated with it to conform and institute political and economic reforms supposedly aimed at improving the generality of Zimbabweans. Really? Are we as Zimbabweans or Africans that ignorant, naïve, patrician or jingoistic to the extent of parroting glaring sanctimony?
According to US Department of State (2022) the nexus of the sanctions were undemocratic practices, human rights abuses, corruption and economic mismanagement. Overtly, and in the public domain, the sanctions are punishment for the deemed transgressions.
Yet covertly a more sinister and nefarious political agenda is the raison d etre for their imposition.
The concealed strategy is the infusion of civil discontentment and dissatisfaction which is hoped to show at the polls and ultimately cause regime change.
To be continued