Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe over the weekend slammed the west for imposing ‘illegal’ sanctions on Zimbabwe and looking the other way as Israeli killed the Palestinians in Gaza. When delivering his acceptance speech as the new Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) at Victoria Falls on Sunday, Mugabe also thanked SADC member states for standing by Zimbabwe and helping the country to deliver free and fair elections.
“What we want are genuine decisions, not skewed decisions that will not recognize the honest truth as we saw in Zimbabwe. We of Africa know the honest truth but there are others who seek untruths. Why should they ever come when they are not objective?” said Mugabe.
He thanked SADC for standing by Zimbabwe and campaigning for the sanctions to be removed, saying Zimbabweans do not understand why the west continues to impose sanctions on them.
“These sanctions continue to debilitate our people and our economy. Without SADC we would not be standing on our feet today,” he said.
Mugabe, together with his Minister of Foreign Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the sanctions have not worked as the people of Zimbabwe continue to re-elect Zanu-PF into power. He added that sanctions were imposed to breed social, political and economic instability so that the west could achieve regime change by imposing their own preferred leaders.
“Despite experiencing the full brunt of economic sanctions, the people of Zimbabwe remained defiant. Their resilience is legendary. Our detractors cannot understand why the people refused to erupt against their government even after they underwent so much economic strife occasioned by the sanctions,” they said.
The two leaders added that the people spoke out emphatically on the 31st of July 2013, as those anointed by Mugabe’s detractors as their preferred leaders were destroyed at the polls. The strategy of regime change through sanctions failed to work as the people of Zimbabwe resolutely voted President Robert Mugabe into power, they said.
Mugabe also hit out at the west for ignoring the blatant abuse of human rights and senseless killing of citizens by Israel. He added that the west, which claims high moral ground on issues of sanctity of human rights, continues to look on with moral and academic indifference as the Israelis slaughter innocent Palestinians under the guise of fighting terrorism.
“We saw as they attacked innocent children and defenseless women. They even hit hospitals and United Nations buildings. Is Israel so precious that it cannot be stopped? Or is it on the assumption that the children will grow up to become terrorists, or the women who gave birth to them gave birth to terrorists?” said Mugabe.
He added that the same peace sought by Europe and America is the one that is craved by the SADC and the people of Palestine in Gaza. He said the SADC does not advocate for terrorism, but the best way to check it is not through killing women and children.
“This is the most brutal demonstration of man’s inhumanity against man. It is criminal for the world to keep quiet,” said Mugabe.
The EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in protest against human rights abuse and flawed democratic processes. Over the last few years the little aid that has been trickling into the nation has been channeled through non-governmental agencies and United Nations organizations. However, the EU has been progressively suspending sanctions against prominent Zimbabwean politicians and firms. The SADC insists that sanctions imposed by the US, UK and EU were hurting the Zimbabwean people and derailing economic development.