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  • Writer's picturerutendo matinyarare


Updated: Jun 29, 2020

14 November 2019

Dear Editor,


I just read an article in your paper headed “South Africa Holds Symposium On Zimbabwe Sanctions” this morning, in which you say that US sanctions on Zimbabwe are targeted on 141 entities.

As Zimbabweans Unite Against US War Sanctions, we are a civilian movement fighting against US and EU illegal unilateral coercive measures (that are not backed by the UN), otherwise known as sanctions, and would like to point out that your article is inaccurate and misleading because none of the US sanctions on Zimbabwe are targeted.

First of all, ZDERA prohibits the Zimbabwean government (national & local governments), ministries, state-owned enterprises and institutions from getting development & reconstruction loans and more importantly, cancellation of colonial debt.

Those sanctions affect the ability of the national government, local government, ministries and parastatals to deliver services, to the people of Zimbabwe and in particular the most vulnerable of our society.

They prevent reconstruction of the country from colonialism, the liberation war, for which the country never got restitution or reparations, while also preventing us from seeking redress for the destabilization visited upon Zimbabwe and SADC by the apartheid South African government, on behalf of western countries between 1980 and 1992 at a cost of $2.8bil ($4.7bil today) on Zimbabwe.

This in turn maintains the yoke of short term, high interest colonial loans of about $800mil [$2,4mil today], taken by the Rhodesian government to buy weapons, to stop our parents from getting independence.

These loans, which had to be repaid by 1987 at Interests of above 11%/annum were repaid by more debts to the tune of $1bil, taken from Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays to repay these debts, save Zimbabwe from the terrible drought and recession in 1984, build 5409 schools, 1161 hospitals, clinics and +700 000 houses that were not build by the colonial government in contravention of their Human Rights Declaration obligations. The mathematicians among us would know that any debt above 10% interest, doubles within every 7yrs because of compound interest.

As the dollar devalued due to onerous conditions imposed by the IMF, for Zimbabwe to access loans to develop infrastructure, which included the Hwange power plant and 7000km of road.

Repayment of previous debts and new debts, had to be made by taking more debt. All in the while, for reconciliation purposes, we were induced into buying back land from the illegal colonial settler, leading to ESAP and default on the colonial compound debt repayments we can’t cancel today.

The consequences of ZDERA therefore, affect each and every one of us. The colonial debts and their interest, continue to mount, inhibiting capital accumulation, the building of power generation, roads, hospitals and railways, to lift ordinary people out of poverty in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2003 a National Emergency was declared on 80 Special Designated Nationals of Zimbabwe by the United States President George W Bush. From this the unilateral and illegal Executive Order sanctions: EO13288, were imposed on these SDNs who included government officials.

In 2005 the orders were amended to EO13391 and more names of companies and relatives of the former SDNs were added, to put a spanner in the economic engine of the country.

However, on the 25th of July 2008, something extraordinary happened, as the US President declared a National Emergency on the Zimbabwean government itself, to impose Executive Orders EO13469.

With these sanctions, the economic weapons of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), were deployed to stop US banks from processing Zimbabwean payments, prohibiting global trade, free flow of investment, loans, exports, purchases of machinery, technology and tools.

NOTE: the IEEPA is an act of war, which falls under defense and war in US code Title 50 and most don’t pay attention to that fact.

Most people across the world get lost by these sanctions because they all focus on the prescripts of the EO13469 sanctions, but they ignore the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which are standard war and defense sanctions or economic weapons used on threats to US interests, to neutralize the threat economically.

However, if the threat is not neutralized by the economic weapons, the US President is given authority by the same act, to escalate the national emergency to put boots on the ground of the country under sanctions.

The IEEPA goes on to say that any company in the US and any from outside the US, are prohibited from ASSISTING identified THREATS to US Economic, Security and Foreign Policy Interests, through processing payments, trading, buying, selling or assisting them with products, software, technology, investment, machinery, tools or logistics, unless the US President gives a license or permission.

In this case, those threats to US interests, outlined in the National Emergency declared on the 25th of July 2008, are the Government of Zimbabwe, its ministries, local governments, parastatals and others of the 144 Special Designated Nationals.

Over and above that. In line with the prohibitions I outlined above, any company, person or institution that assists, sells products, gives services, technology and assistance to Zimbabwe, are under the threat of secondary sanctions and penalties at the discretion of the US President.

So, who has offered the Zimbabwean government, its municipalities, ministries, companies and parastatals services, products, technology, logistics and assistance since 2008? I think it’s every financial institution, company and taxpayer in the republic, wouldn’t you say?

All those, by deduction are contaminated because they infringed prohibitions evoked by the IEEPA when they traded with the Zimbabwean government without a license. This is why many local and international banks like CBZ and Standard Chartered have subsequently been fined heavily and payments of many other entities blocked by western banks.

It’s also the same reason why more than 109 correspondent banks have cut ties with Zimbabwe, including Chinese and South African banks recently. All these restrictions affect the economic engine of the country, impacting investment, job creation, and production of exports, raising foreign currency, generating taxes, which affects the quality of life of all Zimbabweans.

So in conclusion, THERE ARE NO targeted sanctions on a few Zimbabweans, but the sanctions are collective punishment upon 16mil Zimbabweans, for the sanctions sender’s political aims. This is why we would like to appeal to you as a Zimbabwean newspaper and opinion maker, to stop misleading people by giving them false information.

For too long now, Zimbabweans have been kept in the dark on the issue of sanctions, by the compromised Zimbabwean media, civil society leaders and opinion makers. However, we are now standing up to say, it is time to put an end to this propaganda, which serves the interests of enemies of the republic.

We ask you to do your research and after you have established the truth, please do the honorable thing and publish this letter as correction of your disinformation and retract the statements you have made in your article this morning.

It’s institutions like yours that make being a Zimbabwean a mockery, as we have become a nation of people with no patriotism, to the point of sabotaging our own country by carrying out information terrorism on behalf of an enemy intent on invading our country for our resources.

Meanwhile, on the financial front we have your biggest sponsors, Ecocash, from the Econet mafia cartel, being linked with committing economic terrorism, in conspiracy with the sanctions senders.

It is an embarrassment to see foreign nations like South Africans and our SADC partners, standing up to fight against the impact of sanctions on Zimbabwe, to save our SADC economies, while the citizens of our country are siding with the sanctions senders, to destroy the country.

So, should SADC now bring its troops into Zimbabwe, to fight Zimbabweans who are sabotaging their efforts, exacerbating sanctions and burdening their countries with more refugees?

This is a shame and travesty to our nationhood.

Thank You and Regards

Rutendo Matinyarare

Zimbabweans Unite Against US War Sanctions (ZUAUWS)

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