By Enrico Maduba-Mnoko
JOHANNESBURG: Political analysts and members of the Zimbabwe opposition parties, have expressed divergent views on calls by the secretary general of the ruling South African National Council party (ANC), Ace Magatshule, to the newly elected United States leader, Joe Biden to lift sanctions his country imposed on Zimbabwe.
Magatshule, who was speaking on the sidelines of an ANC campaign, west of Johannesburg, also urged Biden to make sure that US stopped interfering in the affairs of other countries.
He also said he hoped that the newly-elected president, “will adopt policies that will restore links with the African continent and the rest of the world and that he will understand that America cannot be telling the world what to do”.
Kennedy Mandaza, the Zanu PF SA region spokesperson, also supported Magatshula’s call, saying it was high time US stopped bullying other countries.
Mandaza said the US sanctions were not only having impact on Zimbabweans but also on its neighbours.
He also denied that there were human rights abuses being perpetrated by the Zimbawean government.
“In 2007/8, we had hyperinflation because of these sanctions imposed on our country by the US government and even those who were calling for the imposition of these sanctions, ended up calling for their removal, an indication that they had been imposed for no other reason but only as an attempt to change the elected government” said Mandaza.
He said the other reason the American Government, imposed these sanctions, was becsuse “our government had forcibly acquired land from the minority whites for re-distribution to its rightful owners”
However, Innocent Nsingo, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) South Africa region spokesperson, told Zimeditors that he is very concerned by comments from Magatshula and Mandaza to call for the removal of sanctions.
He said Magatshula was not aware of what was happening in Zimbabwe, and the reasons behind the imposition of these sanctions on its leaders.
He urged Magatshule, to focus his energy on urging his ZanuPf counterparts to respect the rule of law and to stop human rights abuses on its citizens.
Nsingo said, “The problems facing Zimbabwe are not being caused by US sanctions, but by the ruling ZanuPF party itself, which rigs elections, conducted illegal arrests of innocent people, theft of government funds, and abuse of office.”
Nsingo said, “The problem is also about corruption, and jobs loses. So if ZanuPf is removed from power, things will return to normal”
Also, according to Masimba Kuchera, a Zimbabwean political commentator, the removal of these sanctions by Joe Biden, “will not be an easy exercise”
He told Zimeditors that these sanctions, were imposed on Zimbabwe by the US senate and congress and therefore Biden, will not automatically have them removed without going through these two chambers.
However, Mr Kuchera said it was important to urge leaders in Zimbabwe to stop oppressing its citizens, arrests of journalists and members of the opposition parties if these sanctions were to be removed.
“Although we might urge president-elect to urgently remove the sanctions, we must also urge our leaders to respect human rights so that these sanctions could be removed, because as it is, there is no indication that our leaders are doing anything to convince those who imposed the sanctions on Zimbabwe” he said.
A Senior lecturer at Tswane University of Technology Dr Ricky Mkonza, said what Magatshule said, was the same perception among African leaders who believed that there was no strong relationship between Africa and America.
Dr Mkonza said America was known for putting its interests first and therefore, he did not see the election of Biden as a solution to the current problems being faced in the Africa continent.
“Thinking that things will change because of the election of Biden, is like a dream. America puts its interests first, so I do not see any changes just because this was coming from Magatshule. It should be left to African leaders” said Dr Mkonza.