Zimbabwe has suffered under severe sanctions for a very long time.
By Dr Masimba Mavaza| Sanctions have become a song to an extent that people think it’s a tired song. The reality of the matter is that people are suffering and indeed dying. We cannot have our own currency; we cannot command our industry. We cannot survive in a vacuum. The new dispensation has tried hard and is still trying to open the country to business and in this suffering stage we have Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti and their accomplices going to Donald Trump to ask for more suffering of the people of Zimbabwe.
It is very clear that the opposition is trying to starve Zimbabwe so that the blame falls on the ruling party and credit goes to them.
Because they know that their handlers are refusing to support Zimbabwe at the request of Chamisa and they believe that once they win the flood gates of help will come. This childish thinking explains why Chamisa talks of Bullet Trains and sparget roads he saw when he went to America but never tells Zimbabweans how he will do that.
The opposition claims that only few people were targeted and therefore sanctions are not against Zimbabwe. This is opposition blindness to the truth. Malema an outspoken EFF leader said “once reasoning escapes you it does not say goodbye” Chamisa has been overtaken by pride and excitement and he makes rallies of promises while ED goes under the water to catch the biggest fish for Zimbabwe.
Because of the sanctions brought in by the opposition most Zimbabweans have left the country, MDC has never denounced sanctions. Instead they have gone all out asking for more and hoping to win the forthcoming elections.
From the South African Side the pavement ends abruptly at the border, and so does order. People wait for hours to complete the simple immigration process. The corruption created from the suffering is suffocating.
Because of these sanctions Zimbabwe has been reduced from a producing nation to a consuming nation. Now there are businessmen that specialising in moving anything and nearly everything into poverty-stricken Zimbabwe. They have vehicles of all shapes and sizes, including old Datsun pick-up trucks, minivans, semi-trailers, even motorcycles. Each is loaded absurdly high with goods.
The precariously stacked imports range from mundane to exotic, but mostly mundane. Huge stacks of toilet paper and used furniture slowly enter Zimbabwe, as do cell-phone covers, brooms, used clothes, used car tires, pieces of scrap metal and chrome, a few bikes, poorly made wardrobes from China, even crushed aluminum cans and cheap Russian vodka. Deals are made and cash exchanged. Depending on the amount, the wait at the border can be anywhere from ten minutes to five days. This is the modern economy of Zimbabwe, caused by the MDC engineered sanctions.
Now the MDC is using the suffering of the people they caused as a campaign gimmick. In all tense and purposes this is electoral rigging by the opposition using sanctions. The elections in Zimbabwe are never free and fair as long as the West helps the opposition by killing our people. There so many Zimbabweans who have died of the sanctions than those who died in the liberation wars. The blood of the innocent Zimbabweans is dripping in the hands of Chamisa and Biti and all the confused lot calling themselves the alliance lot. How can a person with conscience kill his people so that he can win elections? Is that not day light robbery straight rigging. Our people are not employed not because of ZANU PF but because of MDC T and their handlers.
Can anyone imagine three weeks after the inauguration of ED Chamis Biti Ncube and company made a bee hive to America to beg for more sanctions? Now Chamisa is having the guts to say in few days he will accomplish what the world has not done in fifty years. Why because of two reasons, 1, he has been promised money by Trump. He said so at the rally.
2. He thinks Zimbabweans are children who can be silenced by sweet talk. Talk is cheap but reality is real. This is not the first country I’ve entered that is under economic sanctions from the United States, but it is one of the most unique. The Zimbabwean government does not limit access and restrict movement like Cuba, North Korea, Myanmar, and other countries. Zimbabwe government has to adjust to these cruel sanctions and try to give a life to everybody. We did not need to go to this length if Chamisa could denounce Sanctions and advocate for rebuilding Zimbabwe which has been destroyed by his father Tsvangirai and off cause a little by the old dispensation which was replaced for the interest of the people by the people.
What MDC does not know is that what hurts the government hurts the people. U.S. officials and the MDC T defend this policy by stating that the sanctions are not against the country as a whole, but a small group of individuals they believe undermine democratic processes in Zimbabwe. They have officially tidied this list to include fewer than 200 people and institutions. Although the official rhetoric says these are “much targeted” sanctions, in a country where government spending over the last several years has been as high as 98 percent of the gross domestic product, it is a de facto sanction against the country. Biti of all the people must know that. The reason why Biti left MDC was on the issue of sanctions and senators.
Sanctions has made these once-fertile farms, which once made Zimbabwe the economic envy of southern Africa, to now lie in ruins.
Regardless of policy, life in Zimbabwe is challenging. Zimbabwe has the highest unemployment rate of anywhere in the world, estimated i to be near 95 percent. The poverty rate teeters at 75 percent of the population. Things here are stark. Money is incredibly tight; Times are incredibly hard. We see how people live and have to ask how it is possible. How are these once-fertile farms, which once made Zimbabwe the economic envy of southern Africa, now lying in ruin?
Mugabe has left the scene and ED is trying to build what was destroyed. In these trying times the opposition ask for sanctions and more sanctions. To them democracy means they have to win. Do we remember people taking wheelbarrows full of money to the store to purchase milk. With the incredible inflation rates of the time, the bus would stop mid¬route, because the cost of gas had risen so much it wasn’t economically viable to continue the trip. That is a reminder of the grim past. This past was caused by the opposition. They would get to state House even if it means the whole country is destroyed. What more rigging of elections is more than this?
Mwonzora boasted that his party can rig elections also. He was referring to these sanctions that they will help his party to starve the people away from ZANU PF and to them. The ones who are feeding on the blood of many, they must thank ZANU PF for being democratic in other countries they would have been banned and asked to contest in America.
All of this improved once the country began to officially use the U.S. dollar as the most standard form of currency, an interesting paradox. Incredibly dirty U.S. bills change hands a hundred times each day, so threadbare and worn it’s difficult to determine whether it is indeed a $1 or a surprisingly common $2 U.S. bill.
If there is anything the resilient people of Zimbabwe know how to do, it is to patiently make do with what they have.
Eventually people, will become angry with their circumstances, they will begin to blame MDC and the United States and the economic sanctions for the current conditions. Sanctions are not a tired song. They are real and they are affecting the country.
The one who was killing people since he was born now wants to be the nurse really???? How can MDC now claim to be the messiah when they are the ones who have caused this mess? They are the prophets of doom and each and every rally they talk of prosperity, yes off cause because Chamisa is the pastor of prosperity gospel.
But these emotionally fuelled claims are real. The people who are more thoughtful, the people who love Zimbabwe look at the picture clearly and see that the wave of the opposition is a destructive force which must be stopped in the coming elections. “Change must come. We must have change. We want change,” “But the people are tired of fighting. We want peace more.” Change must start with the MDC denouncing sanctions, entering into elections on the level grounds. Not this system where people are starved to hate their revolution.
But change just can’t come now. In a struggle like this, where a single meal a day is a luxury, it’s better to tighten the belt and conserve energy. If there is anything the resilient people of Zimbabwe know how to do, it is to patiently make do with what they have. Now they have a new dispensation and they must make do with it. ED is not only promising but actually doing as he promises.
“How could things possibly improve when we have an opposition like this?” We need people who have their country at heart. Sanctions are done in a cruel hope that leaders will resign to give way to puppets.
The precarious presumption is that, through creating a difficult economic situation, the leader will have no choice but to eventually bow to pressure from the “people.” In theory, this might seem like a good motivator. The people unite with a single voice, the leader listens, and change occurs. However, in practice, this is almost never the case.
“There are very few cases where you can definitely identify sanctions as having had a success, except sometimes in combination with other factors,” says Adam Roberts, a research fellow at Oxford University. Indeed, even the most ardent supporters of sanctions claim they bring about the desired effect about one-third of the time, and then very slowly.
This practice seldom, if ever, brings about change.
Instead, sanctions more frequently tend to entrench radical politicians. Once under economic sanctions, leaders must hold the reins of power more tightly to retain it. A leader can only become more engrained in radical government, more inclined to go to greater lengths to ensure retention of power, more removed from the “people,” and less likely to submit to humanizing factors. This formula can be seen playing out in nearly every country currently under U.S. sanctions.
Why, then, do sanctions remain? The simplistic argument is that, well, the opposition hopes to win through the help of the sanctions. They have tried to provoke violence so that the elections will be not credible, they have tried everything and now they rally behind the sanctions fully. What a pack of hypocrites. In the majority of cases, sanctions hurt the masses. The people in power, those the sanctions are designed to motivate, can use their power to find ways around sanctions. There is little logic in hoping that creating a wider economic gap between the already politically disenfranchised and their abusive leadership will have positive results. It’s an absurd premise.
If the United States wishes to take the philosophical “high road” of diplomatic solutions, then take that road whole-heartedly. Provide benefits for economic benchmarks that limit corruption and better ensure non-governmental involvement. Pursue anything that rewards a desired behaviour. At a minimum, use both positive and negative consequences in conjunction to better encourage improvements. This seems a more accurate portrayal of human nature. But the US under the guidance of the opposition is bent to destroy all and have their hand on our resources.
There must be a more thoughtful approach than creating economic situations so incredibly desperate that hope becomes impossible and violence and chaos erupt, as is all too often the case. African logic beautifully describes these circumstances: “Only a pot with boiling water can boil over.”
The opposition are trying hard to have the country boil into chaos, they are the ones who are behind Sanctions, even when Tsvangirai was on his death bed Chamisa went in the night to America and begged for more sanctions. Trump took Chamisa to New York and showed him the fly over roads, took him to the sea side showed him bridges and hail No Chamisa preaches about bridges trains and sea side when we do not have even the sea in Zimbabwe. Chamisa now promises people bridges where there is no road no river. He even said if there is no river MDC T will build the bridge and dig the river.