CONTRARY to Western propaganda that sanctions do not affect ordinary Zimbabweans, a United Kingdom-based businessman was barred from purchasing medical equipment at an auction because of the punitive embargoes.
The latest case is among several cases of individual Zimbabweans being denied permission to do business that benefits ordinary people back home.
Apart from punishing ordinary people, the sanctions, that were imposed at the turn of the millennium by Western countries as punishment for the land reform programme have constricted the country’s access to multilateral and financial support from institutions like the World Bank.
Under 20 years of sanctions, Zimbabwe has been forced to go it alone with little assistance from foreign institutions, while some ordinary Zimbabweans have had their accounts frozen.
Health expert, Mr Joseph Nyamande recently wanted to acquire two ambulances at a UK auction but was barred from making the transactions because Zimbabwe is under economic sanctions.
In an interview from his UK base Mr Nyamande said he tried several auctions but received similar responses.
“Yes, I can confirm I was denied purchase based on the destination I wanted the ambulances to go. They said their insurance does not allow them. On a different auction house, they told me Zimbabwe was on a list of countries prohibited from exporting some medical equipment. I had to change my account to look like I need the things here in UK for them to sell to me,” he said.
According to a chat between Mr Nyamande and the supplier from Auctioneers UK only identified as Gareth, Zimbabwe could not get any vehicles because of the illegal sanctions.
“We are not allowed to sell to account holders in Zimbabwe. Do you have a UK account to buy these items, if not we will, unfortunately, have to cancel the sale,” read the chat from the supplier.
Contacted for comment, a British Embassy spokesperson said she could not comment on individual business transactions.
“We cannot comment on individual business transactions. Ultimately, businesses in the UK and elsewhere make business decisions based on their own assessments of the risks involved.
“These measures are targeted and do not prevent trade or investment between individuals and companies in Zimbabwe,” shesaid contradicting herself.
Both the African Union and SADC are on record calling for the unconditional removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West to enable the country to realise its full potential.
Sadly, the same countries that imposed sanctions refuse to acknowledge the Second Republic’s re-engagement efforts and the far-reaching political reforms that have been undertaken to entrench constitutionalism. The sanctions have adversely affected Zimbabwe’s capacity to respond to the current Covid-19 pandemic.
SADC member states declared October 25 to unite in the call for the unconditional removal of the unjust economic sanctions that have had a debilitating effect on the country’s economic development.