, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 17 – An international lobby group has lauded Belgium and Britain for accepting to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe which is preparing to hold a referendum and a general election.
The Pan African Forum Limited chairman Dr David Nyekorach-Matsanga said it is time other countries in the West “listened to the cries of the Zimbabweans to lift sanctions.”
“We encourage more and more European Union countries to follow suit and withdraw the sanctions,” he said in a statement.
Matsanga said “the Zimbabwe people are suffering because their economy is hurt by these sanctions.”
He said most countries had imposed sanctions following statements issued by agencies such as the Global Witness Group of London.
With an impending referendum on March 16 and general election to follow in July, Matsanga says “it is time all sanctions are lifted.”
“The removal of illegal sanctions imposed on the sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe will create a conducive atmosphere for holding a free and fair referendum and elections this year,” the statement said.
The Zimbabwean people, the statement said, have suffered in anguish for twelve years “it will be unacceptable if they continue to suffer that way.”
“The European Union must avoid dangerous route of piecemeal removal of sanctions as this will create apprehension among the people of Zimbabwe,” the statement said adding “There should be no discrimination in selecting the names of those to be removed from sanctions.”
President Robert Mugabe and several other key personalities in his country are facing sanctions, besides the country itself.
The European Union has announce it’s set relax sanctions imposed on Mugabe’s government.
Most of the sanctions were fueled after the disputed 2002 election.
Latest reports indicate that the UK and Germany are already planning slight modifications on some of the sanctions issued earlier.
President Mugabe has previously stated that the continued stay of the sanctions is hurting his economy and could do worse if they persist during the upcoming polls.