America has a clear policy on targeted sanctions

Methinks the ruling party is actually the ruining party. It is out of touch with convention. It exists in a world of its own, one that transgresses established operational systems and procedures. I reckon that such hermitism does not exist in the global community.

GOOD day, President Emerson Mnangagwa. Your Excellency, as I see it, if Zimbabwe was a trading entity, she could have long closed for business. Its demise would have been its leadership, which strays from the straight and narrow confines of time honoured corporate governance ethics.

Methinks the ruling party is actually the ruining party. It is out of touch with convention. It exists in a world of its own, one that transgresses established operational systems and procedures. I reckon that such hermitism does not exist in the global community.

From my perspective, the recent discourse by some Zanu PF legislators on targeted sanctions exposes the extent to which they think that their party is immune to checks and balances. Their continued perception that Zanu PF as being victimised, is a worn out stance.

According to their wisdom, if not lack of, they passionately intend to seek permission to go to the seat of the American government to deliver a petition on the imposition of targeted sanctions. Unbeknownst to them, their zeal exposes the extent to which the ruling party is engrossed in a self-righteousness bubble.

Your Excellency, the mindset that the Zanu PF government is being treated unfairly by Western countries and institutions is all but a figment of the party's warped imagination. I reckon the sooner such thought processes are discarded, the better the party can relate with all and sundry on the open and progressive global community.

It is my understanding that America and the entire progressive community have a clear policy on the imposition of targeted sanctions. Oftentimes America has explained the rationality of the targeted sanctions with the clarity with which Jesus would say: "He who has ears, let them hear."

Contrary to the Zanu PF scapegoat mentality, the targeted sanctions are an instrument of ensuring that democracy aspirations are not undermined. They are not at all imposed out of malice or spite. It is wilful denial for anyone to attribute ulterior motives to the sanctions.

Last month, the uppermost American diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in a policy statement that the targeted sanctions were imposed specifically on individuals who are accused of rigging elections or intimidating voters.

He underscored that America’s policy on targeted sanctions was targeting people who are against Zimbabwean people's aspirations for free and fair elections and a strengthened democracy.

"This policy sends a clear message that the United States stands with the Zimbabwean people in their aspirations for a strong democracy. We will not tolerate actions that undermine these aspirations, and we will hold to account those who engage in such acts," Blinken stated.

Your Excellency, it is not necessary for your parliamentarians to traverse the long haul to America to present their said petition on targeted sanctions. All they need to do is to champion within the Zanu PF hierarchy credible and verifiable harmonised elections.

At face value, the determination by the parliamentarians to have the targeted sanctions removed sounds noble. Yet, they seem to downplay the fact that they are the beneficiaries of the culture of inconclusive harmonised elections.

Methinks they are best advised to look themselves in the mirror before they throw stones. Otherwise, like the Pharisees who had gathered to stone the woman alleged to have been caught committing adultery, they will be disarmed by the revelation of truth and depart each in his own direction.

Blinken explicated: "Individuals deemed responsible for, or complicit in undermining democracy in Zimbabwe will be subject to visa restrictions under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act."

Your Excellency, according to the Act, the targeted individuals are those involved in activities such as manipulating elections, disenfranchising voters, excluding the opposition members, restricting civil society, intimidating voters and observers, engaging in electoral corruption, interfering with the Judiciary and abusing human rights.

Considering the travesty of electoral practices that were witnessed in the August 2023 polls, in which a constitutional lawyer was compelled to doubt your honesty, as I see it, the Immigration and Nationality Act is as necessary as it is a clear policy.

Regretfully, Zanu PF has its own ways and means of retaining power. Although there is no order whatsoever in its madness, the party is nonetheless as unremitting as it is unrepentant in its dogged pursuit of running inconclusive polls.

Your Excellency, to argue as did my fellow communication practitioner, the Zanu PF information director, Farai Marapira, that America has an anti-Zimbabwe foreign policy is to hide behind one's finger. To the contrary, America has clear policy on targeted sanctions.

"The American government has never had any proper basis for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe and they are continuing this for no reason. We know that they are not concerned with any facts of the matter. We know that (it is about) the land issue. We will continue winning and now we are learning to live with the sanctions. The boat is taking in water, but we are not sinking," defiantly declared Marapira. Yet, being contradictory to his parliamentians who are eager to seek permission to go and present their sanctions petition to the Whitehouse.

Meanwhile, as government continues on the monotonous treadmill of blaming the economic meltdown on sanctions, as I see it, probity warrants you to step out of the humdrum of denials. It behooves you to acknowledge that targeted sanctions are a tool for international diplomacy, as political analyst, Maxwell Saungwe correctly pointed out.

A former minister in the Government of National Unity, Moses Mzila Ndlovu stated that Western countries must include the Gukurahundi massacres for the imposition of targeted sanctions.

Your Excellency, as I see it, the perennial denial that America has a clear policy on targeted sanctions is to the detriment of your Presidency.

Cyprian Muketiwa Ndawana is a public-speaking coach, motivational speaker, speechwriter and newspaper columnist.

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