By Staff Reporter
The report by the UN Special Rapporteur, Alena Douhan who visited Zimbabwe between 18 and 28 October 2021 following a call by government has bemoaned the effects sanctions have on the country’s economy and general social wellbeing of the country.
The sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe in 2000 have met mixed criticism that has been drawn on political lines as the ruling party has argued their deterrence to development while the opposition maintains they have curbed the rampant abuse of office by the former.
According to the Rapporteur’s report “The impact of the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe’s economy are widespread and threatens the stability of the country, as precisely noted in the Special Rapporteur’s findings. The destabilising impact of these illegal sanctions mutate into forms not only limited to the economy, but also to the deterioration of the social and humanitarian fabric of the nation.”
The report also viewed the sanctions as having had a toll on the economy, migration service provision and social decadence.
“Informalisation of the economy, trade deficits, irregular migration, breakdown of service delivery, even youth delinquency, due to economic hardships, can be traced to the decline in the economy from the onset of the illegal sanctions.” The report highlighted.
The report however lacked non state actors input who feared the alleged draconic PVO bill would be used against them if they had contributed.
“Unfortunately, and as observed by the Mission, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) regrettably excluded themselves from participating in this fact-finding mission on the basis of conditions attached to their funding, which they feared to lose if they participated in this fact-finding exercise by the Special Rapporteur.”
The report while noting the contribution of mismanagement to Zimbabwe’s challenges attributed the same mainly to development strategies that were not in sync with the developing nations’ expectations.
“The economic decline in the late 1980s and 1990s, partly attributed to economic Mismanagement, could be a misnomer as a result of many factors, chief among them being the policy prescriptions promoted by Bretton Woods institutions, namely the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF,) which created fertile ground for widespread policy misalignment as well as limited policy space for Zimbabwe. The WB and IMF put forward economic Structural Adjustment Plans (SAPs) that had little to no imperial Evidence, and were a complete departure from the development trajectory that developed Countries had adopted in the course of their own development.” The report highlighted.
The report noted similar realisations to the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Professor Hilal Elver in relation to how sanctions have impacted on food security.
“In her report, following her November 2019 visit, she pointed out that Zimbabwe, with all its agrarian potential, will always fall short and will find it hard to be food self-sufficient and secure due to illegal sanctions.” The report highlighted.
With the second republic having called for a revaluation of their circumstances as the second republic and operated under a new ‘open for business mantra’ that has departed from land accusations and the 51-49% ownership scheme the party’s are still to agree on new sanctions terms.
The report departs from the widely held position by the ‘West’ who have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe as they argue the move is aimed at restricting travel to Europe and the West by the leaders on extravagant excursions and medication when the general populace are living way below poverty levels