US sanctions a non-event –Zanu PF

via US sanctions a non-event –Zanu PF – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 4, 2016

ZANU PF yesterday reacted angrily to the extension of targeted sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle by United States President Barack Obama, saying the restrictive measures remain illegal because they were not passed by the United Nations.

BY Everson Mushava

“It is a non-event, those sanctions are illegal and will remain illegal,” Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo said yesterday.

“The sanctions did not go through the UN. The decision to extend the sanctions remains as illegal as the sanctions themselves. We cannot be seen to be respecting illegality.”

Obama on Wednesday extended targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his close Zanu PF allies for another year on the grounds that the political situation in the country had not improved to warrant the removal of the restrictive measures slapped on the 92-year-old leader in 2003.

The US President said Mugabe, a vocal critic of the West, represented an unusual threat to US foreign policy and that the government of Zimbabwe had continued to undermine the country’s democratic processes.

He said Mugabe’s conduct had culminated in the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law, increase in politically-motivated violence and intimidation and posed an economic threat to the region.

But Khaya Moyo fired back: “The President (Mugabe) is an international icon and he continues to liaise with other world leaders, how is he a threat to US foreign policy? They should tell us.”

MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said Mugabe’s “low appetite” for observing human rights made him a suitable candidate for the restrictive measures.

“It is almost one year since journalist-cum-human rights activist Itai Dzamara was abducted by suspected State security agents, but the Zanu PF regime seems unfazed by this sad event,” he said. “Opposition political party activities are closely monitored by State security agents and many MDC rallies, especially in Harare, have been illegally thwarted by the police.

This is a drought year, but out there in the countryside, opposition political party supporters are being denied food aid purely on partisan grounds.”

Zimbabwe People First spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo said his party had no business with Mugabe being on sanctions or not, but was worried about reviving the economy for the good of the citizens. “Whether Mugabe is on sanctions or not, it is no longer an issue. What we want is to open a new chapter in the country’s economy,” he said.

People’s Democratic Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said Mugabe was not only an international and regional security threat, but also a national humanitarian and security threat.

“It is ironic that a country thousands of miles away sees this danger, but those in Zanu PF seem oblivious to this simple fact,” he said.