STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY DR. LAZARUS MCCARTHY CHAKWERA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI, AND CHAIRPERSON OF SADC, CALLING FOR THE LIFTING OF ALL SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE
25 OCTOBER 2021
1. 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.
2. 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. 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.
3. Asa 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.
4. The trajectory of the global economy is on rebuilding and recovery. To this effect, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), by virtue of being the largest source of foreign capital, remains a critical catalyst and facilitator of growth. The sanctions increase the perception of Zimbabwe being in a high-risk profile category, thereby diminishing the credibility of investment and investor confidence, while exacerbating investment risks. This further diminishes the country’s prospects of obtaining impactful FDI and serves as a deterrent for economic emancipation, growth and stability.
5. We wish to commend those International Cooperating Partners who have continuously extended development cooperation support and assistance towards the Government of Zimbabwe, and urge all development partners and stakeholders to support Zimbabwe’s efforts towards implementing her reform agenda.
6. The Republic of Zimbabwe, and the SADC Region, are committed to engage in meaningful and constructive dialogue with all relevant stakeholders, with a view to consolidate the rule of law, democracy, governance and human rights. It is only through such exchanges that better appreciation of concerns of all parties could be secured and progress towards their resolution be achieved.
7. Consistent with the collective global commitment “to leave no one behind” and in practical furtherance of the spirit of multilateralism, SADC calls for the immediate and unconditional removal of all sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, for the good of the country and its people, the SADC region and the global community.
H.E Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera,
President of the Republic of Malawi, and Chairperson of SADC
25 October 2021