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Local lobby group in fresh call against sanctions

By Style Reporter

Youth lobby group Volunteer Troops for Sustainable Development has joined a call for the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe, which they say are impacting negatively on efforts towards development and livelihoods of ordinary citizens.

In a statement, the group’s national coordinator Taurai Kandishaya said the sanctions have proved retrogressive to the development agenda at a time the nation is struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As an organisation whose obligation is centered on bringing development to individuals and communities, we are always finding it difficult as a result of our country being illegally sanctioned and therefore bullied by the US,” said Kandishaya.

According to him, the world superpower currently has no moral standing to continue imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe at a time it is grappling with widespread protests by the #blacklivesmatter movement against racial injustice.

“The world over US sanctions are killing people each day, hindering the fight against the coronavirus and destroying nations (so) this is the right time to review and sanction them too,” he said.

“The recent gruesome murder of George Floyd (pictured), an African American, followed by comments from the US President Donald Trump clearly shows that the US prefers to sit above the rest and they have no respect for the rule of law.”

The fresh call against sanctions comes at a time national leaders across the continent, particularly South African president and current AU chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa, have joined local politicians in pleading for the removal of economic restrictions against the impoverished landlocked country.

“As we deal with the impact of this (coronavirus) pandemic, we repeat our call for the unconditional lifting of sanctions that have been imposed on Zimbabwe and Sudan,” Ramaphosa said in a speech to mark Africa Day celebrations in May.

However, in defence of the sanctions, the US has constantly instructed government to effect reforms concerning human rights abuses and rule of law, a request President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has claimed to be following albeit conceding that the process will not be achieved overnight.

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