Churches ask UK to remove sanctions

Source: Churches ask UK to remove sanctions | Daily News

Churches yesterday met British head of Political and Public Affairs John Culley to follow-up on a petition against sanctions which they said were hurting ordinary Zimbabweans.

The meeting was held at the British Embassy in Harare and was attended by Zimbabwe Amalgamated Council of Churches (ZACC) members, the African Union’s (AU) Economic Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) members and country representative Tamuka Magwenzi among others.

Briefing journalists after their meeting, Zacc head of media Davison Gomo said the churches told the Brits about the adverse impact of sanctions on trade, investment inflows, and the country’s political risk profile and reputation. Gomo said churches also queried why other countries such as Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and DRC were not placed under sanctions yet had serious human rights violations during elections, including xenophobia.

This comes after the United States (US) and European Union (EU) also extended sanctions for another year citing gross human rights violations. Zacc patron Jimayi Muduvuri called for the pin-pointing of the villains so that they don’t include ordinary Zimbabweans in the equation.

Culley reportedly insisted that the sanctions did not hurt ordinary people and singled out targeted people such as Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, Defence Forces commander Valerio Sibanda and Lands minister Perrance Shiri as the people targeted by the special measures and other State entities.

The British diplomat also emphasised that the sanctions were imposed as a result of electoral theft, the crushing of civil liberties and rights abuses, which the regime continues to do.  Culley reported said the August 1, 2018 and January 2019 violent army crackdown prompted superpowers to relent on removing sanctions from Zimbabwe.

“They believe that there are circumstances that still justify the continuance of sanctions,” Gomo said.  “The costs that arise from sanctions are just too huge for a small country like us to bear…the sanctions don’t comply with international law…they are not legitimate… as there is no provision in the United Nations (UN) for unilateral sanctions except as authorised by the UN security council.”

The churches will also be meeting the US and EU next week on their quest to call for the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe.


  • comment-avatar
    Remedio Fernandes 2 years ago

    The Churches may well feel there is sufficient reason to lobby for the removal of sanctions to protect the ordinary citizen being hurt by the sanctions. However, I’d be happier if they relentlessly pursued the government to change its modus operandi that is definitely hurting the ordinary citizen. And to stop hounding members of opposition parties. Holding a different point of view does not equate to being an enemy of the country. Ordinary citizens are still recovering from the violent and brutal attack by armed forces at the time of the stayaway. Citizens were dragged out their homes without any concrete evidence of wrong-doing. Victims were later arrested when seeking medical attention. Doctors who attended to them were threatened. Lawyers who took up their cases also came under threats of retribution.
    There was an initial statement, a report of one meeting.
    Has the government taken action on the armed forces that opened fire on civilians on 1sy August. Is the church satisfied with the Government’s response, and if so, what has this response been. The ordinary citizen is unaware. One expects the the church to maintain a constant cry for justice and the preservation of human rights. The ordinary citizen is hurting because basic necessities are unavailable or beyond their pocket. The ordinary citizen is hurting because she cannot withdraw her money from the bank with ease. She cannot enter into certain transactions because US dollars are demanded. Even some government services insist on US dollars. The recently announced monetary policy is skewed and has been devised so that the government can get its hands on the ordinary citizen’s US dollars. Why else would there be a time limit in which to spend the money in a nostro account failing which it is converted to bond dollars? And why must a reason be given for withdrawing one’s own money from a nostro account. Undoubtedly the plan is to make the spending of nostro account money cumbersome and even difficult allowing the Reserve Bank then to enact its policy of forfeiture. These are the issues that the Church should be taking up with our government on behalf of thier congregations.

  • comment-avatar
    Tendai Marufu 2 years ago

    Does this Government and the church not realise that we took the white -owned farms and broke our own Consitution and laws when we did that, and the British will NEVER forgive us until we sort his out with the owners of the farms