We are too soft – ZANU PF pushes for law barring opposition members ‘inviting’ sanctions from running in elections

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By Darlington Gatsi

ZANU PF Members of Parliament are advocating for a law that bars opposition members – whom they accuse of inviting sanctions – from contesting in elections.

This came out recently in the National Assembly where MPs debated the impact of economic sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States of America and Britain.

Through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA), Washington slapped Harare with sanctions over human rights violations in the early 2000s.

This was in reaction to the Land Reform Programme that was marred by violence.

Speaking in Parliament, Zanu PF chief whip Pupurai Togarepi said opposition members should not be allowed to be part of the governance system accusing them of lobbying for the embargo.

“As a country at war, it is unfortunate to have some of our people supporting sanctions, going to these places to ask for sanctions. I want to remind this House that there was a motion that was moved to say that those who look for sanctions must never participate in the governance of this country.

“We are too democratic as a people, too democratic for comfort. Why would we even entertain an election with people who are sponsored to destroy Zimbabwe? Why would we have an opposition that is totally, clearly and vehemently against Zimbabwe and allow them to participate in a democratic election, when they are sanctioning us? We are a country at war and there are surrogates of imperialism who come here, go to an election with us, sponsored by the same people, we are too soft.

“We have people who died for the freedom of Zimbabwe. Some who have no limbs, some who could not even have kids, others whom we do not even know where they were buried trying to liberate this country. Somebody goes to the same colonisers to say destroy this population, destroy these people to give life to themselves because they are sell-outs.  They are sell-outs, they are Judas Iscariots,” said Togarepi.

According to the government, sanctions have blocked lines of credit for Zimbabwe and cost the country an estimated US$40 billion.

The parliamentarians have proposed to visit the USA to lobby for the removal of sanctions.

Togarepi said the country should consider shunning Americans who might want to establish investment opportunities.

“We continue to engage them in goodwill. We do all the businesses that we do, we are the most honest people in the world but these self-imposed policemen of the world continue to impose sanctions on our people. We cannot continue to handle them with kid gloves. It is time that we say this is a war declared on us and our economy.

“The same people who sanctioned our country cannot come and do business here. They should stop doing business here. They cannot make money out of our lithium, our gold, diamond et cetera, while they use the same money to destroy our economy.  I think this should come to an end,” he said.