Zimbabwe can only get the US support and lift economic sanctions if they reverse its disputed land reform programme.

A startling disclosure has emanated from Monday’s Dirco symposium. Authorities representing Zimbabwe at the event responded to reports that the U.S government proposed to lift sanctions against the country if president Emmerson Mnangagwa broached the subject regarding the 2000 land reform program.

Zanu-pf’s efforts to redistribute land in Zimbabwe, during the Mugabe-era legislation sparked a period of chaos and violence when white farm owners were pushed out of their property. The controversial law casts brought about a dramatic economic decline in Zimbabwe.

Nevertheless, Mnangagwa has not been any nicer than his predecessor. The president has twice ordered a military crackdown on his own citizens since 2017, and he has overseen another drastic rise in food and gas prices.  Note-worthy is the tough stance of Mnangagwa which stays the same as on the properties confiscated from the white settlers.  

The Zimbabwe ambassador to south-Africa told the Dirco event that the U.S wants the property returned to those who owned it at the turn of the century. The president’s decisions are firm regarding the land, according to David Hamadzripi – a stance reaffirmed by them on Monday afternoon.

Mnangagwa also urged Zimbabweans based in Africa to “return home and help their country” during the 2019 gbf summit in Dubai. He candidly told the audience that the country is now open to business citing mining and agriculture as their two most profitable industries.

Meanwhile, Dirco Minister, Naledi Pandor, from South Africa called on SADC to press for their international partners to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe. Even though the U.S has set stringent terms of the agreement, Pandor thinks it’s time to aid Zimbabwe to help itself.

It seems clear that even as we support the call for an end to economic sanctions, the political dynamics are inextricably linked to the economy, and thus, should be confronted simultaneously.”

“SADC may need to go beyond the resolution we adopted and engage those who have imposed sanctions to agree on lifting sanctions to support the recovery of sectors such as health, agriculture and education.” He said.

A few facts which the ordinary African might neglect is that the lands in question here belong to the people of Zimbabwe. The White settlers were Europeans who came to Africa during colonialism and possessed lands which belong to indigenous people.

For most of the cases, the lands were neither bought nor rented from the real owners. The British, together with Cecil Rhode’s British South African company, were the ones who came to Zimbabwe and took their lands while committing all manner of human rights abuses.

For America to be asking Zimbabwe to return the lands, simply means they are endorsing the land grab that happened all over Africa. It simply means human rights (in its true form and meaning) does not mean anything to them.

A sanction is the latest tool in warfare against Africa, and other nations who refuse to do the bidding of the West. As time unfolds, we hope that Zimbabwe will look inside and build healthy ties with African nations and others, to better their economy.

The land is Zimbabwe’s. Zimbabwe should keep their lands and America should do the right thing and stand for the “Justice and human rights” they claim to be installed in the world.


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