WHY DOES ZIMBABWE STRUGGLE TO GET MEDICAL MEDICINES, MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND MEDICAL PRODUCTS?
Someone asked me why medical equipment is so difficult to get in Zimbabwe when Zimbabwe has so much wealth in resources and why Zimbabwe doesn’t use those resources to buy the medical equipment from its allies.
The fact is Zimbabwe’s inability to get medicines, medical equipment or machines is not limited to financial capacity, but Zimbabwe’s allies are governments and they don’t manufacture medicines, medical equipment and medical machines, but it is private companies in their countries that manufacture these medical products for profit.
And even when allied government companies manufacture the same equipment, most of these state owned companies are unwilling to sell their goods and services to sanctioned countries like Zimbabwe because they fear:
1. being sanctioned by the US,
2. being closed out of profitable western markets,
3. being denied US dollar payment clearances,
4. being denied parts, software, patents and the technology to produce their products,
5. having their bank accounts blocked or
6. their directors being denied US visas or
7. their directors being arrested in the US for contravenining US executive orders and sanctions by doing business with with sanctioned countries like Zimbabwe.
8. Additionally, many banks will refuse to transfer payments to such companies from a sanctioned country like Zimbabwe,
9. some companies are in countries where Zimbabwe has no corresponding banking relations so there is no way for them to receive funds from Zimbabwe,
10. while logistics, transportation and insurance companies may refuse to move and insure the medical goods from medical supplies manufacturers to Zimbabwe, out of fear of secondary sanctions and criminal prosecutions.
This is why even some Chinese government owned banks have implemented US sanctions on Zimbabwe, out of fear of being removed from western payment systems, losing corresponding banking relations, being denied business with the west and having their directors arrested as happened to the Huawai Director, for trading with Iran.
However, the same restrictions do not apply to buying expensive cars, jets, property outside Zimbabwe and none productive goods and services because those deplete the national savings, without bringing any value to the country.
But they deny us medical equipment, industrial machines, mining equipment, business technology or software because they produce value for Zimbabwe and the highest value adder a nation has is human talent which is sustained by food, education and medical equipment, hence they sanction those.
In 2021, we had someone who contacted ZASM to tell us that he was denied the right to buy second hand ambulances from the UK to Zimbabwe because the country is under sanctions.