Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Devious anti-sanctions campaign

Eric Bloch: Devious anti-sanctions campaign

Friday, 11 March 2011 13:26

IT was Sir Walter Scott, the renowned author who lived from 1771 to 1832, 
who said: “O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to 
deceive!”  Although that was written more than two centuries ago, it is 
still apt, as evidenced by the  deception exercise launched in Zimbabwe last 

A bevy of Zimbabwe’s political hierarchy, of Zanu PF ilk, launched its 
anti-sanctions petition campaign with more razmataz and vigour than ever 
applied by it before in addressing the needs of Zimbabwe and its people.  In 
doing so, much political misrepresentation, deception and distortion was 

Key to the deception was the recurrent contention that the causes of 
Zimbabwe’s very pronounced  economic morass are the sanctions imposed by the 
US, the EU, various Commonwealth countries, and some others.

This contention is not of new origin, but was vociferously and repeatedly 
expressed by the pre-Government of National Unity (GNU) political 

Although devoid of substance, and the reality being that the immense array 
of economic ills that have afflicted Zimbabwe was due to the policies and 
actions of that pre-GNU government, at no time has there been any hesitance 
to allege, with intense conviction, that those sanctions have occasioned the 
economic distress which has caused endless suffering to the populace.

In launching a campaign to obtain more than two million signatures to 
petition for the discontinuance of the sanctions, the campaign’s proponents 
sought to justify their claims of the economy’s decimation by emphasis upon 
the December 2001 enactment in the USA of the Zimbabwe Democracy and 
Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA), and upon some similar sanctions imposed by 
other states.

They highlighted, with intense emphasis, that ZDERA obliges US to apply veto 
powers to the advances of any funding to Zimbabwe by the Bretton Woods 
institutions (such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World 
Bank), and they contend that that barrier to funding is a primary cause of 
Zimbabwe’s economic ills.

However, in doing so, they very conveniently, and with unmitigated gall, 
disregard the fact that sanctions are wholly hypothetical, for in reality, 
even if ZDERA did not exist, no funding could flow to Zimbabwe from those 

Their constitutions preclude any advances to countries who are in default of 
servicing their debts to those institutions, and Zimbabwe has gargantuan 
arrears on loan repayments, its debt servicing default having been 
continuous for more than a decade.

Therefore, whether or not the USA and other countries are bound to veto 
international institutional loans to Zimbabwe, such loans would in any event 
not have been forthcoming.  The fact is that by failing to service its debt 
commitments, Zimbabwe has placed sanctions against itself.

The anti-sanctions campaigners further strive to substantiate their 
deceptive contentions of the economic prejudices of the sanctions by 
emphasising on the wideranging international ban on any funding for 
commercial transactions with the Zimbabwean Government, its parastatals and 
other economic entities, and those private sector enterprises in which 168 
named individuals hold equity.

Admittedly, that sanction exists, but it is wholly notional, for even if the 
sanction did not exist, none of that international community would 
contemplate lendings to, and engaging in contractual arrangements with, a 
government which, by its own admission, is “bankrupt”.

That is especially so in respect of an economy the size of that which 
Zimbabwe had when the national debts amounts to US$6,9 billion.

What sane enterprise, other than one engaged exclusively in philanthropy, 
would make loans or grant credit or otherwise transact with any that are 
recurrently in default of honouring debt, and are flagrantly and blatantly 
insolvent .

That is even more so when the enterprises seeking credit facilities and 
loans are owned by a government which flagrantly expropriates legitimately 
owned property of its citizens and residents without compensation and which 
blatantly breaches the numerous Bilateral Investment Promotion and 
Protection Agreements (BIPPAs) to which it is a signatory.

In a determined attempt to convince the grievously economic-ailing 
population that all its ills are wholly in consequence of the diabolically 
evil machinations of the western world, the politicians also repeatedly and 
deceptively claim the sanctions to be illegal.

They found their argument on the fact that the sanctions were not agreed to 
and imposed by the United Nations, whilst conveniently ignoring that any 
country has the sovereign right to determine who  it will transact with, and 
with whom it will not.

Each such country also has the right to determine how to exercise its votes 
at meetings of international organisations of which it is a voting member.

The claims of illegality of the sanctions are therefore equally 
misrepresentative, devoid of fact, and are further deception.

State-controlled media devoted its news bulletins endlessly and almost 
exclusively to the campaign, citing the deceptive and false allegations of 
the economy’s near-total collapse and the attendant misery of the masses, 
unceasingly, as absolute fact.

There was total disregard for other world and national news.  At the same 
time, enormous sums have been and continue to be expended by the campaign’s 
promoters on endless and nauseous advertising to obtain the desired 
signatures to the petition.

Also, the campaign promoters resorted to invasion of privacy by nationwide 
transmission of SMS messages to virtually all mobile telephones on Net One. 
(How did they receive unauthorised access to the millions of telephone 

But the foremost deceipt is surely the real motivation for the campaign. 
Its organisers must be fully aware that the campaign can only provoke 
continuance of the sanctions.

That enables them to continue to castigate and abuse the international 
community, and to contend intensifyingly that all Zimbabwe’s economic ills 
are solely due to that community’s allegedly evil intents.

By so doing, they expect to continue diverting the population from 
recognising the real causes of the myriad of economic ills, and thereby to 
deflect any realisation that those ills are almost wholly a consequence of 
gross misgovernance  and power abuse.

Concurrently, it has enabled them to disparage their political opponents for 
their non-support of the specious campaign, and for allegedly motivating the 
initiation and the continuance of the sanctions.


New ZACC chair spells out vision

New ZACC chair spells out vision   1/6/2019 The Herald From George Maponga in Masvingo Newly-appointed Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chair Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo has

Read More »

Matanda-Moyo sworn in as ZACC boss

Matanda-Moyo sworn in as ZACC boss     31/5/2019 Newly-appointed Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo (left) accompanied by her husband Foreign Affairs and International

Read More »

ZACC officers wind up training

ZACC officers wind up training    30/5/2019 Source: ZACC officers wind up training | The Herald Herald ReporterTwenty-three Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officers who were being trained

Read More »

New Posts: