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  • Writer's picturerutendo matinyarare


3 December 2019


Dear Sir/Madam,




We have read the preliminary statement given by Ms Hilal Elver, the Special Rapporteur of the U.N Human Rights Council, on the starvation crisis that is unfolding in Zimbabwe and forecast to affect an astounding 7.7mil people.


In her summary and accompanying articles on your website, Ms Elver gives five reasons as causes of the developing humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, ranging from poverty, high unemployment, wide spread corruption, the worst drought to hit the country in 40yrs and unilateral sanctions on the country.


As a preliminary summary coming from the Human Rights Council, we found it concerning that the summary down plays the impact of the collective punishment and the gross violation of the human rights of 16mil Zimbabweans by US and EU unilateral coercive measures [sanctions] on this food shortage.


In as much as we appreciate the Special Rapporteur for generating awareness of the impending crisis in Zimbabwe. We view her selective bias and ambiguity on the true cause of the humanitarian crisis as a dereliction of the Human Rights Council’s mandate.


That’s because the biased submission:


Leaves us without a full appraisal of which negative human influence is causing the effects she alludes to in her summary of the human engineered starvation crisis in Zimbabwe.

It deliberately obscures the role played by the illegal economic warfare deployed upon the government, industry, agriculture, state owned enterprises, private sector, civil society, activists and citizens of Zimbabwe to cause the poverty, hyperinflation, inequality, corruption, the nation’s inability to grow food and mitigate the drought.

It fails to correctly identify the humanitarian problem that Zimbabweans and the global community need to grapple with and how they solve the problem holistically for the future.

It says absolutely nothing about collective human rights abuses taking place in Zimbabwe due to conditions artificially engineered by illegal sanctions.


These are critical omissions and distortions when considering that over the past few years, numerous reports by Special Rapporteur on sanctions Idriss Jazairy from your organization have clearly:


• Articulated that unilateral coercive economic measures that are being increasingly used by the EU and United States are illegal human rights violations,

• and they have resulted in man-made chronic food, healthcare and clean water shortages in countries like Venezuela, Iran, Libya and Syria, causing starvation, health disasters and the deaths of millions. The same symptoms witnessed by the Special Rapporteur on her visit to Zimbabwe.

• Proposed in a November 2017 article that sanctions on Zimbabwe be removed to allow the country to develop and create conditions for free and fair elections,  as under illegal sanctions, conditions for free and fair elections can not exist.


Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that Zimbabwe has faced record level droughts [before] in 1984 and 1992, where the same social ills as corruption, inequality and poverty were present.


Nevertheless, through both droughts, the country never faced the humanitarian crisis that is brewing now because a functional economy allowed the government to mitigate the effects of droughts by taking loans from private financial institutions, the World Bank and IMF.


Complimenting that, the international community, aid agencies, non-governmental organizations and private companies came to the rescue and assisted the country with support to mitigate the effects of the drought.


However, ever-since the imposition of ZDERA in 2001, EU restrictive measures in 2002 and the executive order sanctions EO13469 imposed on the government, economic engine: industry, agriculture, state owned enterprises and non-profit sectors of the country in 2008.


The country was isolated and excluded from international trade because the United States IEEPA (International Emergency Economic Powers Act) enjoins other nations, companies and institutions not to transact with, support or assist Zimbabwe without license from the US President.


The result has been the country struggling to solicit funding, loans, aid, investment; generate jobs, food, goods and revenue to lift standards of living and reduce poverty as it did previously.


In the process this has hampered the government’s ability to raise taxes, take out loans or meet onerous terms of loans on offer, to provide vulnerable citizens with support, social protection or drought relief.


On the aid front, the unrelenting pressure by the western world on other countries to isolate Zimbabwe, accompanied by the western sponsored media assault on the country’s image. Has ostracized the Zimbabwean people, forcing donors, NGOs, aid agencies and activists -too afraid to oppose the US and EU human rights violations out of fear of losing their funding or travel rights to those countries- to turn their backs on Zimbabwean social and humanitarian issues.


In the process this has quarantined the Zimbabwean people from international solidarity or assistance and forced them to be dependent mainly on aid from agencies and NGOs aligned to the sanctions senders, who in turn use the aid coercively to advance their political aims, hence the country has a food crisis today irrespective of these agencies’ presence in the country.


And as the Special Rapporteur has done, such aid organizations have ignored the restoration of collective universal rights of Zimbabweans, to concerned themselves with pressuring the government to prioritize electoral reforms, granting individual rights to protest and free speech at the exclusion of universal rights for the masses. All to advance anti-government sentiment emanating from the incapacitation brought by sanctions that the pressure groups are avoiding to denounce. A clear effort to drive the regime change sought by the US and EU.


This is why the Special Rapporteur’s statement on the current crisis in Zimbabwe is unsatisfactory because it doesn’t expose the real human rights abuses causing the crisis in Zimbabwe, but, instead they augment the illegal coercion of sanctions, by pressuring the Zimbabwean government to reform to outside influence instead of internal democratic processes.


If left unchallenged, this summary and report to follow, will simply pave way for a holocaust by starvation in an isolated Zimbabwe that has no assistance or solidarity from other countries. Unless of course the government reforms under duress of this disaster to foreign terms that guarantee that undemocratic regime change is forced upon the people. A clear contravention of Zimbabwean universal rights to select a government of our choice.


Recently, at the Nelson Mandela Lecture, the Chief Justice Of South Africa fittingly said: “The biggest facilitator of sustained injustice, is keeping people ignorant of what they are entitled to”.


This is why as Zimbabweans Unite Against US War Sanctions, we petition your organization to uphold its mandate of protecting the universal human rights that are being collectively violated by the collective punishment of 16mil Zimbabwean people by US and EU sanctions over the last 18yrs.


Sanctions that have rendered the Zimbabwean people some of the most sanctioned people in the world as the country has been through:


1) 90yrs of colonial exploitation,


2) 17 years of liberation war and destruction,


3) 14 years of UN sanctions on Rhodesia,


4) Rhodesian debts illegally taken during U.N. sanctions to buy weapons to sustain an illegal colonial government,


5) The coercion of the Zimbabweans government to inherit Rhodesian sanctions underdevelopment and debt.


6) No reparations for the 90yrs of colonialism


7) Taking debt to rebuild Zimbabwe from the war and colonial underdevelopment.


8) The government being forced to buy back illegally occupied land from colonial settlers in the name of reconciliation.

9) Being forced to take loans to repay colonial debt.


10) And now economic sanctions from the entire western world.


This is why this country is now struggling to survive because exploitation, war, destabilization, isolation and sanctions, have persistently been used to incapacitate the people, to ensure that they can’t sustain themselves.  


Hence to avert the pending starvation crisis and ensuring future food production, instead of your Special Rapporteurs, selectively focusing on meddling in the politics of the country by pushing for individual rights at the exclusion of public interest and the collective rights of the people to develop, self sustain and live.


Your organization must work to stop the sustained destruction of Zimbabwean capacity through these illegal sanctions and capacitate the people’s self confidence to lift themselves up from this sustained effort to keep them underdeveloped.


We fear that it’s this selective focus on individual rights in pursuit of the fallacy of democracy at the alter of the collective rights of the nation, that the Council has sat by as 16mil people’s human rights were violated by these illegal sanctions for 18yrs.


Over the same period, the United States and its EU counterparts imposed similar sanctions and escalated them into invasions that have killed 3.1mil women, children and men for oil in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, this is according to Brown University Cost Of War Project.


All in the while, well paid Human Rights Council Special Rapporteurs wrote similar white washed reports, the U.N. Assembly in turn passed questionable resolutions and an indifferent global community looked on.


We condemn this as a failure by the Council to deliver its mandate to the people in those countries and with that, we demand that your organization begins to:


• Play it’s role in protecting fundamental human rights of the billions of people who are being abused by powerful western nations.

• Acknowledge and denounce illegal violations of the collective rights of the Zimbabwean people (and other peoples experiencing the same injustice) through various forms of economic warfare, segregation, isolation, warfare and sabotage.

• To give the Zimbabwean people back our humanity, which the U.N., Human Rights Council and international community have been guilty of diminishing by remaining mum on the violation of our rights and joining the west in isolating our country. This is to encourage other nations, organizations and people to give humanitarian support to the Zimbabwean people.

• Denounce the continuation of systematic incapacitation of African countries by institutionalized forms of restrictions, isolation and unfair trade as have prevailed in Zimbabwe for the last 129yrs.

• This is important to enable African countries to realize their economic potential that is being prohibited by various forms of aggression, unfair trade practices and economic attacks.

• In the process we would also like to challenge the body to sponsor studies to measure the impact of these US and EU sanctions upon Zimbabwe and neighboring countries which have had to take the brunt of millions of displaced refugees in the last 18yrs.

• The Human Rights Council makes recommendations on how the global community, nations and organizations can stop isolating Zimbabwe to assist and to mitigate drought, climate change and capacitate the country to be food self-sufficient by among other things encouraging organic farming, heirloom seed preservation, ecological practices and water harvesting.

• The Human Rights Council makes a petition to the U.N Assembly to make resolutions to classify economic sanctions as weapons of mass destruction that must be prohibited by international law.

• Furthermore the Council should be instrumental in recommending that the General Assembly puts a motion to support the formation and promotion of African civil society organizations that can focus on addressing Africa’s social issues, especially with raising global warming that is affecting Africa. This is necessary to break our dependency on western organizations that aid us by coercion.


It pains us as an African organization that the aggression faced by Zimbabwe and many non-white countries, are sustained by the same parasitic nations that perpetuated the crimes against humanity of slavery and colonialism which  destroyed African economic, social and cultural autarky. And today, their indiscretions are continued as neo-colonialism, economic warfare, destabilization and wars for resources to sustain their unsustainable standards of living at the expense of our countries to which they pay no restitution.


Hence today, as brown people we remain vassals, dependent on the charity of the unjust enrichment that these evil and grossly corrupt nations have gained by crimes against our country.


These are issues that need to be addressed without fear or favor by your body to remedy these past and present injustices that have enclosed us the victims of these crimes in a perpetual system of injustice.


This is why we have taken time to write this complaint as a challenge for your organization to carry through its mandate. More critically it is a record for future generations to judge how each of you upheld the values of humanity, dignity and equality, while receiving your generous remuneration courtesy of our exploitation.


Thank You and Regards



Rutendo Matinyarare

Zimbabweans Unite Against US War Sanctions (ZUAUWS)