SADC forges ahead with calls for lifting of sanctions

By Oleen Ndori

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has expressed concern over the continued existence of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe with the regional body calling for the immediate and unconditional lifting of the illegal embargo.

SADC envoys attached to the United Kingdom gathered at Zimbabwe House last Friday to show solidarity with Zimbabwe in the fight against sanctions.

Acting Malawian High Commissioner to the U.K, Mrs Quent Kalichero delivered the speech on behalf of the SADC Chairperson and Malawian President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, who maintained SADC’s support to Zimbabwe.

“The Southern African Development Community (SADC) wishes to reaffirm its solidarity with the Government and People of the Republic of Zimbabwe and to collectively voice its concerns on, and disapproval of the prolonged sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe. As SADC, we are concerned by the continuation of sanctions on some individuals or entities of Zimbabwe and hereby call for the unconditional and immediate lifting of these sanctions,” he said.

“There is no doubt that this lifting will facilitate socio-economic recovery, and enable Zimbabwe meet her national and regional economic development plans as well as effectively manage her international obligations. As a region, we remain adamant that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, whether targeted or restrictive, are a fundamental constraint and hindrance to the country’s prospects of economic recovery, human security and sustainable growth. The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the recent devastating cyclones Chalane (December 2020) and Eloise (February 2021) have mounted added socio-economic pressures that continue to impact negatively on the lives and livelihoods of the people of Zimbabwe,” he added.

The country’s top diplomat to the U.K; Ambassador Colonel (Rtd) Christian Katsande said Zimbabwe is deeply appreciative of the regional support and other progressive nations with the anti-sanctions day coming at time the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the impact of the repressive measures is in Zimbabwe.

The event in London was attended by Dean of the African Group of Heads of Mission in the UK, His Excellency Mr. Estifanos Habtemariam and SADC Ambassadors attached to the UK including representatives from Mozambique, the DRC, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and Eswatini.

Meanwhile, Information, publicity and broadcasting services minister, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa has paid tribute to SADC for its solidarity with Zimbabwe on the need for the lifting of illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the west.

The 2021 Anti-Sanctions Solidarity Day commemorations are running under the theme: “Friend to All, Enemy to None: Forging Ahead and Enhancing Innovation and Productivity in Adversity of Sanctions,” and is in line with the President’s clarion declaration of having cordial relations with the international community.

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