By Leopold Munhende
REMOVAL of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West will end the August 1, 2018 type of killings in Zimbabwe, Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo has said.
In an article published on Foreign Affairs, one of the world’s leading State policy platforms, Moyo said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government could expedite reforms demanded by mainly the opposition and international community if the West accepted the Zanu PF leader’s re-engagement efforts.
“These reforms could be accelerated with engagement, not only would a stronger economy mean more resources for these programmes, it would also help bring in critical international expertise to aid the retraining of the country’s security services,” said Moyo, a retired military general famed for announcing the coup that deposed longtime dictator Robert Mugabe in November 2017.
The Foreign Affairs Minister added that removing sanctions does not imply exonerating Mnangagwa from any wrongdoing.
“Lifting sanctions would not signal the exoneration of the government on human rights, rather, it would strengthen protection of those rights and prevent future abuses.
“This re-engagement is hampered by the perception of the record on human rights,” said Moyo.
“The voiding of sanctions would unleash economic growth and speed Zimbabwe’s rehabilitation and renewal.”
Mnangagwa’s administration is battling to get rid of a bad boy tag that seems to be worsening with each passing day after a short period of promise.
The Zanu PF leader took over from Mugabe promising a new political ethos including widening the democratic gap, enforcement of human rights as well as a quick turnaround of a floundering economy. Mnangagwa, a longtime Mugabe enforcer, is struggling on every score and indications he is resorting to default mode of rule by an iron fist.
Moyo, after the coup, was appointed as the face of Mnangagwa’s efforts to re-engage the world after two decades of isolationist policies under Mugabe.
The US and Europe have both demanded political, security and electoral reforms before engagement.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said the bloody incidents since Mnangagwa’s takeover should not be used to read into the Zanu PF leader’s style of governing.
“Some tragic and lamentable incidents have taken place since this administration came to power. Yet those incidents should not be read as government intent nor obscure the country’s progress.
“Lifting the Mugabe-era US economic sanctions that prevent full international engagement would remedy this problem,” he said.
Armed soldiers gunned down six civilians in Harare on August 1 last year after protests broke out over delays in the release of presidential election results two days after polls closed.
Some 17 more were killed in January over a three-day national shutdown triggered by a 150% fuel price hike. Mnangagwa’s government has also been accused of abductions and torture.