Sanctions on Zimbabwe are a human rights issue
Sam Matema Correspondent
The United States and her allies in the global North for a very long time, have presented, defined and projected themselves as champions of democracy and human rights defenders.
Nothing could have been further from the truth on account of the contradictions inherent in what they say and do.
Using Zimbabwe as a case in point, our relations with the family of nations globally, have not been a smooth sail post ZIDERA (Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act) passed by the US Senate after the land reform and redistribution exercise in Zimbabwe.
Were it not for the resilience of the Zimbabwean people, economy and the astute and forward-focused leadership of the ZANU PF-led Government, we could have witnessed an implosion a long time ago, and that is the primary objective and preoccupation of the US and her allies with regime change as the ultimate target.
Looking through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that largely, the sanctions on Zimbabwe has affected how she interacts and interfaces with the wider world via SDG 17 which speaks to partnerships to achieve the other 16 SDGs, and in the process how the same affect and impact the different rights, chief among them, the right to self-determination, health, education, food, housing and right to life.
It has affected how we work with individuals at home and in the diaspora, the corporate world, non-state actors and other nation states both in the global North and South.
Self-determination speaks to the right to chart own path and course in the context of local social, economic, environmental and political considerations and expectations.
It speaks to territorial integrity and its unfettered defence.
The US has, through its proxies, interfered with the independence of Zimbabwe through the sanctions with the ultimate objective of effecting a regime change.
It has curtailed our relations with multilateral financing organisations, movement of funds and potential investments with a bearing on the capacity to produce adequate food towards zero hunger, provision of quality education and quality health delivery system.
The sanctions have also curtailed the availability of resources for investment towards development of key infrastructure that is meant to aid the realisation and subsequent enjoyment of the aforesaid rights.
Because sanctions have been an impediment to the realisation of basic rights, it is about time that the purported champion of democracy and human rights defenders should take heed to the amplified call for the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe because it has had negative effects on the entire SADC region.
Akin to the climate migrants in the Sahel region, there is a serious challenge of “Sanctions migration” in the SADC region looking at both the source and destination of the sanctions migrants with respect to the undue pressure put on the facilities that should deliver adequate food, quality education and health among others.
Some have become sanctions refugees and their right to self-determination at a personal level has been weakened and sometimes taken away; to the extent that some Zimbabweans within and without her borders are being paid inducements to rebel and/or vote ZANU PF out of power thus infringing on the country’s right to self-determination as an independent nation.
The new world order that we envisage is one where there is social justice, economic justice, political justice, environmental and climate justice.
With the efforts that the US is exhibiting in trying to establish a uni-polar world, the US can never be a barometer of perfection with respect to democracy and human rights.
If anything, the US is an antithesis of the things that are critical on matters of democracy and human rights.
All should realise that the US has been to Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, and what is on display glaringly is the upheaval, turmoil, destruction and devastation occasioned by America and her allies.
This is the commission or omission that we must avoid as a people for Zimbabwe to realise upward mobility with respect to sustainable development and territorial independence.
America does not mean well for Zimbabwe and the global South whichever way you look at it. Theirs is a grand scheme and plan to have their stooges, proxies and puppets in positions of power and influence running the Affairs of targeted nation states.
The US and her allies have been consistent in their modus operandi; they create a problem and provide solutions for the same.
Via the sanctions weapon, the rights to food, clean water, housing, education and health among others, are curtailed.
It is against the foregoing that people, if there is a deficit of strategic leadership, usually revolt rendering such places ungovernable.
It creates a fertile ground for regime change which is what has been happening in Zimbabwe. Through its agencies like USAID, the American government funds relief efforts on food aid and any such interventions that speak to human rights.
In the process, they undermine the integrity of the government(s) of the day, their independence and right to self-determination. We are starring a socio-political precipice as a country finding expression in the threat to our capacity to meet the expectations of the general populace on the back of propaganda being churned out by the US and her allies. Gratifying, consoling and refreshing, is the realisation that the message of the Second Republic is gaining currency and finding takers in both the global north and south.
President Mnangagwa has been deliberate in his engagement and re-engagement drive, the target being to be a friend to all and an enemy to none.
Through the NDS1 and NDS2 framework building towards Vision 2030, the set broad objectives are slowly crystallising into reality, and thus becoming sufficient in a number of sectors enabling us to attend to the challenges and expectations of the day.
For the first time in more than two decades, Zimbabwe managed to export supplies grain to Rwanda.
This speaks to our resilience as a people and how responsive Government has been to climate-proof agriculture and protect the ordinary man from the vagaries of the imperial West.
As we face the threat posed by the United States and her friends in the wider scheme of things, we should remain resolute and steadfast in our defence of our territorial independence as well as knowing who are true friends are in the region and beyond.
We should be wary of those among us who are prepared to sell their birth right for 30 pieces of silver, those who are prepared to make a fortune out of the misfortune of many.
Sam Matema is the Member of Parliament for Buhera Central and writes in his personal capacity. [email protected].