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Luxury vehicle suppliers break spirit of sanctions

READERS may recognise my non-de-plume and recall, with pleasure I hope, my contributions over the last couple of years to your Letters to the Editor column. I am now staying in Musina, South Africa, if only temporarily, and have no plans

to return to Zimbabwe, which is no longer the country I used to know and work in.

I view with surprise and concern the number of lorries carrying new South African-manufactured cars and pick-ups passing through Musina on the way to Zimbabwe.

The only people able to purchase such vehicles, many in the luxury category, must have access to considerable hard currency. Anyone walking into a Harare vehicle showroom with suitcases full of Zimbabwe dollars hoping to make a purchase would soon find themselves shown the door.

A radio programme down here said that although the Zimbabwe economy was on its knees, all sorts of people and companies with the right connections were taking advantage of thriving black market conditions and “making a killing”, if only in local currency terms. One does not need a crystal ball or the investigative talents of Mossad to know where most of those expensive new vehicles are going to end up.

Suppliers in South Africa and shippers elsewhere should be ashamed of breaking the spirit of sanctions that have been applied, in theory, by much of the Western world. Also included must be the suppliers of second-hand vehicles from Japan, the UK and the US.

It’s time high commissioners in Harare and Pretoria and the US embassy looked into this for possible punitive action in future if any laws and rules have been broken.

Neill de Sperandum,

South Africa.

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