Bulawayo – The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Mr Kindness Paradza, says it was no mistake that the region is standing with Zimbabwe in calling for the removal of the illegal sanctions on the country.
SADC last year declared October 25 the region’s Anti-Sanctions Day as the bloc upped the ante in pressuring Western countries that have placed an embargo on Zimbabwe to end their assault on the country’s economy.
Ahead of 2020 Anti-Sanctions Day, Mr Paradza said, “Our economy was destroyed because of sanctions. That is why SADC now has recognised that these sanctions are devastating the whole region. The economies of the regional countries have also been affected by the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
“So, the whole region is under sanctions. That is why we are saying October 25, we demonstrate to all those who have imposed sanctions on us. The United States of America, the European Union and we say as Sadc we reject these sanctions.
Mr Paradza said they were also engaging the countries that had imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe as part of the re-engagement agenda championed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Last year, we went to Sweden as part of our reengagement programme. So, we are complementing Government’s efforts as Parliament in terms of reengagement. As the President said, we are going to engage and reengage. From reengagement the good thing is that we are talking with the countries that imposed sanctions on us,” said Mr Paradza.
He commended the Government for implementing a raft of electoral and media reforms, saying this showed President Mnangagwa’s commitment to enhancing democracy in Zimbabwe.
Mr Paradza pointed out that while the Government implemented these reforms, it should not lose sight of the fact that the sanctions were imposed to effect regime change in Zimbabwe by Western countries, and had nothing to do with human rights, governance or democracy as was often claimed.
“Regime change has been their main project, so we are resisting that and for the past 20 years we have been resisting that. This stems from the fact that Government of President Robert Mugabe then decided to take ownership of our land, so because of that they have not forgiven us. We are trying by all means to make sure that they remove ZANU-PF from power but that is not going to let happen,” said Mr Paradza.
Mr Paradza said citizens should guard against being used by foreign governments and their agents to cause divisions in Zimbabwe.
“As Zimbabweans we must remain patriotic, resolute in our agenda to make we are free chart our destiny as Zimbabweans and not to be used by foreigners. This is very important and this is why we are going to have a Patriotic Act so that we punish all Zimbabweans who go out there and condemn their motherland,” said Mr Paradza.