By Alois Vinga
THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has pleaded with EU and the US to unconditionally remove sanctions which it said were causing untold suffering among ordinary Zimbabwean citizens.
The sentiments by the rights body were made to complement the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) solidarity call for the removal of western imposed sanctions.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government insist the measures were a major barrier to the restoration of economic prosperity by the country.
In a statement Monday, ZHRC called for the immediate and unconditional removal of all forms of sanctions on Zimbabwe saying this is the only way the country could be restored on a path to economic recovery.
The commission said the removal of sanctions will not only benefit Zimbabwe but the SADC region and the African continent as a whole.
“ZHRC recommends and appeals to the international community to resort in the first instance, to solving differences through constructive engagements rather than imposition of punitive measures which have the effect of infringing on the rights of innocent people and worsening their well-being.
“It is on this call that the commission fully supports the call by the people and government of Zimbabwe, the SADC community, the African Union and many other well-wishers in the global village for the immediate and unconditional removal of sanctions,” ZHRC said.
The commission said it noted with deep concern the catastrophic effects of the measures imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States, the European Union and allies.
The ZHRC contends that no matter how grave the human rights situation in any country may be, the imposition of further suffering on innocent citizens through coercive measures only further worsened the economic situation and the plight of citizens.
The rights commission said sanctions have instead contributed to the increase in human rights violations despite having been implemented to achieve the opposite.
ZHRC described the measures as having a ‘’deleterious effect’’ which is being continuously felt by the general Zimbabwean populace.