By Henry D Gombya
A case has been lodged at the General Court of Justice of the European Union challenging the continued economic sanctions against the Republic of Zimbabwe. Lodging the case in Brussels on Tuesday morning was Dr David Matsanga, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Africa World Media.
Speaking to journalists soon after returning to London from Brussels, Dr Matsanga said he had been forced to seek a judicial ruling on the illegibility of the sanctions after visiting Zimbabwe and witnessing the problems economic sanctions against Zimbabwe are causing to the ordinary person in Zimbabwe.
In a 48-page document that he handed over the EU court of justice, Dr Matsanga said the original purpose of the EU to remove economic sanctions against Zimbabwe had been to try and depose President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980. Dr Matsanga said he is seeking that the General Court of the EU declares all forms of economic sanctions against Zimbabwe by the EU to be annulled with immediate effect.
“It is true that the sanctions were and continue to be a serious and blatant violation of human rights as they have inflicted unnecessary, unjustified and great harm to the people of Zimbabwe,” Dr Matsanga said. He added: “The sanctions are immoral as they attempt to have a regime change by precipitating the collapse of a developing, only recently independent, now famine ravished African country.”
Dr Matsanga, who is also the CEO of The London Evening Post, said he is seeking to have all travel bans imposed on leading Zimbabwean politicians annulled. He said the travel and visa bans imposed on the Zimbabwe leadership, go against the provisions of the African Charter on human rights which give individuals an express right of freedom of movement and residence within the borders of a state. At the same time, he is asking the EU General Court to order that Zimbabwe be compensated for the economic loss and related incidents caused by the EU sanctions.
He told the general Court that Zimbabwe’s ability to reschedule her loan payments and to apply for debt cancellation in terms of severe financial crisis had been severely affected by the economic sanctions imposed on her. Dr Matsanga added that Zimbabwe’s credit and investment rating had been severely affected as well.
Matsanga charged that imposing sanctions on members of ZANU-PF and other officials working for the Mugabe regime. Sanctions against ZANU-PF aimed at bringing down the Mugabe regime, had not been made in the best interest of democracy or people’s will. “By doing so, Western powers continue to disregard key regional bodies such as the African Union,” Dr Matsanga said, adding that nor does this accelerate the political and socio economic integration of the continent as envisaged by the African Union.
He argued that economic sanctions against Zimbabwe had caused a breakdown of the Zimbabwean economy due to lack of foreign investors and the dollarization of the market leading to lack of affordable health care, quality education, joblessness and millions of innocent people continue to lose their lives from HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Dr Matsanga said generally, sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe go against the spirit of the constitutive Act of the African Union whose objective is to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights.