NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 24 – Ugandan peace negotiator David Matsanga on Tuesday filed an application in the European Union General court in Brussels, challenging economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
Matsanga argues that the sanctions imposed following a law enacted in 2001 by the Unites States of America continue to be a serious and blatant violation of human rights as they have inflicted unnecessary, unjustified and great harm to the Zimbabwean people.
The law is referred to as the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA).
“In promulgating this law for Zimbabwe, the USA cited retrogressive land policies, endemic corruption, and Zimbabwe’s involvement in the DRC war, absence of the rule of law, political intolerance, electoral fraud and gross human rights abuses as the basis for these economic sanctions under ZIDERA,” Matsanga states in his application.
In effecting the provisions of ZIDERA, the multilateral lending agencies including IMF, World Bank and Africa Development Bank, among others, voted against credit facilities (in all their various forms) to Zimbabwe.
He terms the sanctions as “immoral” as they attempt to have a regime change by precipitating the collapse of a “developing, only recently independent, now famine-ravished African country.”
He also argues that the sanctions have not been coordinated well within the international community hence breeding discordance “which now undermines the credibility of bans and raises questions as the real motives of these western restrictive, particularly the African States.”
“It is therefore the duty and responsibility of the EU Court to hear our prayers on behalf of the millions of people of Zimbabwe,” Matsanga concludes in the voluminous application.
Among the prayers he is making to the EU court include a declaration of all forms of economic sanctions perpetuated by the defendants against Zimbabwe illegal.
“We pray and seek an injunction on all matters regarding sanctions and that the General Court stops all the forms of economic sanctions with immediate effect and without any condition therein,” he pleads.
He also petitioned to the General Court to annul all travel bans imposed on the Zimbabwean people. This will include compensation of Zimbabwe by the defendants on economic loss and related incidentals caused since they were imposed.
Matsanga also wants the General Court to grant him the right to appeal to the Court of Justice should any EU refuse to abide by any declaration of the court on termination of the economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.
Speaking to Capital FM News from Brussels on Tuesday, Matsanga said he opted to file the application because he wants the people of Zimbabwe to get justice.
“I am a pan Africanist that is why I chose to file this application, it is for the sake of seeking justice for the people of Zimbabwe,” he said on telephone from Brussels.
Matsanga further contends that Zimbabwe’s ability to reschedule its loan payments and to apply for debt cancellations in times of severe financial crisis was severely affected by the economic sanctions imposed on it.
“Once the IMF and World Bank stopped doing business with Zimbabwe, this had an immediate and adverse impact on Zimbabwe’s credit and investment rating. And with a drop in investment rating went the dream of low cost capital on the international markets,” he said.