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Sanctions against Zimbabwe should not be dropped until human rights are secured says South African opposition party

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By Darlington Gatsi 

SOUTH African opposition party, ActionSA, says sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West should not be scrapped until the Zanu PF-led government respects human rights.

This is in contrast to calls by the South African ruling party, ANC, for sanctions imposed by the United States on Zimbabwe to be lifted.

ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula is on record saying sanctions against Zimbabwe have indirectly impacted South Africa through the migration of Zimbabweans consequently straining the provision of basic services in the country.

However, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has refuted Mbalula’s assertions accusing the Zanu PF-led government of perpetuating human rights abuse.

“ActionSA believes that the Zanu-PF, which has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, has been responsible for a number of human rights abuses in the country, ruined the country’s economy and has systematically destroyed Zimbabwe’s democracy,” said Mashaba, who served as the Mayor of Johannesburg from 2016 to 2019.

“The thousands of Zimbabweans residing in South Africa bear testament to Zanu-PF’s horrendous rule and human rights abuses. Mbalula’s assertions that sanctions are to blame for

Zimbabwe’s woes show either a clear misunderstanding of the extent of Zanu-PF’s damaging rule, or illustrate a worrying willingness to bend facts to fit the ANC’s narrative,” he said.

Zimbabwe was slapped with sanctions by the US in 2003 at the height of land reform which was characterised by violence.

Government has since then blamed sanctions for economic decline which has seen Zimbabweans migrating to neighbouring countries for greener pastures.

Mashaba said the South African government should raise its voice calling for democratic reforms in Zimbabwe.

“Instead of calling for sanctions to be removed, the South African government should be using its South Africa’s foreign relations to encourage democratic reforms in Zimbabwe that will ensure that the basic human rights of citizens are protected, and opposition parties are not intimidated.

“For the past two decades, South Africa’s global standing has slowly eroded as the ANC government sided with dictators and oppressive regimes. ActionSA believes that the South African people respect human rights and democracy and that our government should side with human rights and democracy in our diplomatic relations,” he said.