Farirai Machivenyika , Harare Bureau
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Sibusiso Moyo, yesterday presented a paper to Cabinet, indicating Zimbabwe lost about US$98 billion due to the illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the United States and the European Union.
This was said by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa during a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday.
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade tabled in Cabinet a paper highlighting the impact on Zimbabwe and the Sadc region of the unilateral sanctions imposed by the USA and the EU. The Minster stated that Zimbabwe had lost at least US$42 billion in revenue over the past 18 years due to the sanctions,” she said.
“It is also believed that Zimbabwe lost bilateral donor support estimated at US$4,5 billion annually, since 2001. A total of US$12 billion in loans from the IMF, the World Bank and African Development Bank as well as commercial loans worth US$18 billion were also lost on account of the sanctions.
“The sanctions also brought about an estimated GDP reduction to the tune of US$21 billion.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said the unilateral sanctions have, and indeed continue to inflict grievous pain on the rank and file of the citizenry, especially women and children.
The revelations of the impact of sanctions on the economy, fly in the face of ridiculous claims by the US, in particular, that the sanctions were targeted and therefore do not impact on the ordinary person.
The US claims that its sanctions regime is targeted at 65 individuals and 56 companies, and not the ordinary men, when in fact the companies targeted employ ordinary people.
A number of companies including the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) indicated recently that they have challenges acquiring spare parts because of sanctions, and have resorted to using middlemen to access the spares, which increases costs and makes their charges for freight uncompetitive.
Sadc has since declared October 25 as a day of solidarity with Zimbabwe against the illegal sanctions.
Minister Moyo also said the document on the impact of the sanctions would be published once it has been adopted by Cabinet.
“Indeed when it has been finalised, that report is going to be publicised not only to the media but the region as a whole,” he said.
A number of activities are being organised for October 25 to protest the illegal sanctions.
Meanwhile, the highly-anticipated anti-sanctions solidarity march that was scheduled for this week has been deferred to a date to be announced due to President Mnangagwa’s tight schedule following the deaths of former President Robert Mugabe and Major General Trust Mugoba.
Both have been declared national heroes, with Maj Gen Mugoba set to be buried today at the National Heroes Acre.
The body of Zimbabwe’s founding father, Cde Mugabe, is also expected to arrive in Harare today.
Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu, through his Director Dr Henry Mushonga, confirmed the postponement of the anti-sanctions march.
“. . . the highly anticipated anti-sanctions solidarity march, which was expected this week, has been postponed,” said Dr Mpofu. “The march will be notified at a date to be announced. We have postponed the march since the nation is mourning the death of the founding father of Zimbabwe, former President Mugabe.
“The nation is also mourning the gallant son of the nation, Major General Trust Mugoba, who will be buried tomorrow (today) day at the National Shrine.”