S. Africa calls for lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe

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South Africa’s parliament on Thursday urged members of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) to support a motion calling for an immediate lifting of economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

The motion was tabled to the PAP by Amos Masondo, chairperson of the South African National Council of Provinces, or upper house of parliament.

Masondo said he made this call in recognition and appreciation of the PAP’s “gallant and heroic” 2016 campaign, which led to the successful lifting of economic sanctions imposed by the United States on Sudan.

The United States, Britain and the European Union have imposed economic, financial and trade sanctions on Zimbabwe since 2002 when Robert Mugabe was president.

The unilateral sanctions, said Masondo, have caused “grave harm,” not only to Zimbabwe’s economy and its people, but also to the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

“We are deeply concerned that these unjustified, unilateral sanctions have a grave and unforgivable impact on women, children and ordinary citizens of the country,” he said.

Masondo stressed the urgent need for the PAP members to join the SADC heads of state in demanding the immediate lifting of economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

The PAP, one of the organs of the African Union, is intended as a platform for people from all African states to be involved in discussions and decision-making on the problems and challenges facing the continent.

Zimbabwe has been suffering from high inflation and shortages of basic supplies such as fuel, power and water partly due to the sanctions.