Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has called for the lifting of all sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
In a statement, Chakwera who is also chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)noted that he “wishes to reaffirm its solidarity with the Government and People of the Republic of Zimbabwe and to collectively voice its concerns on and disapproval of the prolonged sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe,”
“As the SADC, we are concerned by the continuation of sanctions on some individuals or entities of Zimbabwe and hereby call for the unconditional and immediate lifting of these sanctions.”
Chakwera said there is no doubt that the lifting of all sanctions will facilitate socio-economic recovery and enable Zimbabwe to meet its national and regional economic development plans as well as effectively manage its international obligations.
The 16-member regional bloc declared October 25 “Anti-Sanctions Day” in solidarity with Zimbabwe.
“As a region, we remain adamant that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, whether targeted or restrictive, are a fundamental constraint and hindrance to the country’s prospects of economic recovery, human security, and sustainable growth,” Chakwera said.
According to Chakwera, the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with recent devastating cyclones Chalane in December 2020 and Eloise in January 2021 has added socio-economic pressures that continue to impact negatively on the lives and livelihoods of the people of Zimbabwe.
He said the trajectory of the global economy is on rebuilding and recovery.
“To this effect, foreign direct investment (FDI), by virtue of being the largest source of foreign capital, remains a critical catalyst and facilitator of growth.
“The sanctions increase the perception of Zimbabwe as being in a high-risk profile category, thereby diminishing the credibility of investment and investor confidence while exacerbating investment risks,” he said.
The SADC chairman said this further diminishes Zimbabwe’s prospects of obtaining impactful FDI and serves as a deterrent for economic emancipation, growth, and stability.
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa meanwhile expressed his gratitude to the SADC leaders for standing with Zimbabwe in the quest to have sanctions removed.
“I am also deeply humbled by the immense support and solidarity of the SADC heads of state and government and other progressive members and organizations who have joined in our call for the removal of illegal and debilitating sanctions imposed on our nation,” Mnangagwa said during his national address to mark Anti Sanctions Day.