HARARE – MDC-Alliance Spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere has challenged Information Ministry Permanent Secretary, Nick Mangwana to a live moderated debated over the highly divisive sanctions debate.
It followed after the two had heated debate over the issue on Twitter.
Mahere said on Twitter, “I challenge Mr Nick Mangwana to a live professionally moderated podium debate on sanctions in the national interest. Zimbabweans deserve a Govt that leads in good faith. The bad governance, propaganda & half-truths must stop. #ZimbabweanLivesMatter.”
However, Mangwana has blocked Mahere on Twitter.
The issue has become on of the most talked about issues lately because of the massive public relations campaign that is being led by government to try and force the West to remove the sanctions.
The 25th of October was declared Anti-Sanctions Solidarity Day by Zimbabwe’s government and the SADC region.
The sanctions issue has been a very polarising point in Zimbabwean politics with Zanu-Pf led government and those aligned to the party blaming the sanctions for Zimbabwe’s economic crisis while the opposition parties have largely attributed the economic woes to bad governance, mismanagement and corruption.
Another point of clashing has been the causes of these sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe by the West at the turn of the 21st century.
Zanu-Pf has maintained that the sanctions were imposed illegally because the Western countries were not happy with the government’s repossession of the land from former white farmers.
On the other hand, opposition parties, particularly the various MDC formations over the last years have argued they were imposed due to gross human rights violations and disregard of the rule of law by the government.
Another critical question that is still being debated over, is whether the sanctions have an effect on the country’s development particularly with others arguing they are targeted and have no impact on the country’s economy while others have raised various arguments on how it directly or indirectly impacts the country’s ability to economically develop.
The West, led by USA imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in the early 2000s at the height of the country’s political tensions which were characterised by state sponsored violence on opposition members, civil society, massive electoral fraud and a land reform programme that turned violent.
A number of reforms were put as part of the necessary conditions for the lifting of these sanctions.
Then former President, the late Robert Mugabe used the sanctions argument as a scapegoat to divert attention from his government’s failures.
President Mnangagwa, upon assuming leadership of the country vowed to implement the said reforms, however his government has not covered much ground in that respect and as a result the sanctions have remained.