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Zimbabwe's President Says Sanctions Were Imposed on his Country to Install a 'Puppet Government'

© AP Photo / Peter DejongPresident Emmerson Mnangagwa, of Zimbabwe, attends a session at the Africa Pavilion at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, of Zimbabwe, attends a session at the Africa Pavilion at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.11.2022
Zimbabwe has been living for over 20 years under harsh economic sanctions unilaterally imposed by the US and the EU over allegations of violence, the intimidation of opposition leaders, and harassment of the independent media. The sanctions remain in place despite numerous calls by the UN to lift them.
Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were initially aimed at undermining its economy in order to cause a coup d'état and form a new "puppet government", Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa has argued, pointing out that despite the pressure, "nothing of that sort has happened."
The president has explained that the attempt failed due to "the resilience of our people."
Now, as the country has been experiencing the Western restrictions for more than 20 years, what Zimbabwe has gained from the sanctions is self-relience, which, apparently is what let Zimbabwe to make things better in terms of its economy, as, according to the president, the nations sees around 4,6 percent growth.
“Sanctions have taught us to be ourselves, to be masters of our own destiny. Sanctions have taught us to depend on ourselves and not depend on the world that is making us victims of their sanctions,” the president said.
Mnangagwa stressed that if in the past, when a country wanted, for example, to build or repair roads, it applied for loans from the World Bank or the IMF. Now that such loans are no longer available due to sanctions, Zimbabwe manages everything on its own.
Addressing the needs of the country, the president pointed out that there are at least two things affecting the people of Zimbabwe - food security and education.
Talking about importance of the latter, the president highlighted that not foreigners but children are the "builders of their nation" and that children should be educated so that they understand that.
“It’s not true that any former colonial power has any interest or commitment to develop a former colony. No! But they have interest to continue to link themselves to the former colony in order to find more ways of stealing the wealth of the former colony in a subtler manner," Mnangagwa stated.
Riot police officers cordon off the area after migrants arrive on Spanish soil and crossing the fences separating the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco in Melilla, Spain, on June 24, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.11.2022
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Zimbabwe was first hit by US sanctions in 2001 and EU sanctions in 2002, following the accusations of violence, the intimidation of political opponents and the harassment of the independent press.
The Zimbabwean government has said that sanctions were imposed due to a land redistribution program. Zimbabwe redistributed land from 4,500 white farmers from the country's Rhodesian minority to 300,000 blacks in a bid to depart with the country's colonial legacy.
Zimbabwean authorities, as well as international experts, argue that the sanctions have stifled economic development.
"Unilateral sanctions decimated the economic performance of the country, thereby aggravating the humanitarian situation and consequently adversely impacting access to basic rights, including to life, food, water and sanitation, health and education, and the rights of Zimbabwean residents, migrants and refugees…,” the 2022 UN Human Right Council report read.
In addition, the same report stated that "sanctions facilitated deindustrialization", that "foreign direct investments were affected", as investors had negative perceptions about the economy and the country’s governance and were afraid to get involved.
In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, South Africa's Koeberg nuclear power station is seen on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.11.2022
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In 2020, the SADC permanent mission in Geneva prepared a report, containing an analysis of unilateral sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe by the US and the EU.
"Zimbabwe has lost well over US$42 billion in revenue over the past nineteen years because of the sanctions. This includes lost bilateral donor support estimated at US$4.5 billion annually since 2001, US$12 billion in loans from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and African Development Bank, commercial loans of US$18 billion and a GDP reduction of US$21 billion," according to the report.
The US and UN sanctions against Zimbabwe were repeatedly bashed by other Sub-Saharan African countries.
On October 25, African leaders from The Southern African Development Community (SADC) staged an Anti-Sanctions Day as a sign of protest against longstanding restrictions on trade and commerce with Zimbabwe, imposed by the US, the UK, the EU and their allies.
Moreover, this September, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and African Union (AU) chairman and Senegalese President Macky Sall called for the sanctions to be lifted.
In late October, SADC chairman and Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi stated that the West had imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in an attempt to change the government.
Russia has also repeatedly opposed the anti-Zimbabwe sanctions.
In 2008, Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on sanctions against Zimbabwe.
In 2019, Russian Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dmitry Kobylkin stated that Russia advocates strongly against Western sanctions targeting Zimbabwe.
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