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Anti-sanction protests will not sway UK hearts

Anti-sanction protests will not sway UK hearts

UK sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe are targeted at five individuals and will not be changed in the absence of reforms, Britain’s Embassy in Harare has said.

This comes after hundreds of Zimbabweans on Tuesday held protests across the country and an all-night music concert, demonstrating against Western sanctions that the government has long blamed for the country’s economic troubles.

The UK says the sanctions regime is aimed at encouraging the Government of Zimbabwe, and any person or entity who may be involved in human rights abuses to respect democratic principles and institutions and the rule of law.

The targeted sanctions, UK said, were applied in response to human rights violations, government policies and actions that impede democracy, rule of law and respect for human and property rights.

In a statement the UK Embassy in Zimbabwe said: “To be absolutely clear, the UK has targeted sanctions on five Zimbabwean officials and one entity for human rights violations and serious corruption.”

” The five individuals are Owen Ncube, Isaac Moyo, Godwin Matanga, Anselem Sanyatwe and Kudakwashe Tagwirei. The entity is the Zimbabwe Defence Industries. These measures do not affect trade or economic development.”

“Trade between UK and Zimbabwe was 175 million USD last year. We are working hard to increase this. The UK also provides considerable development assistance to education and health care in Zimbabwe 114 million USD this year. This is assistance in support of Zimbabwe’s own National Development Strategy,” the UK continued.

“We want to see Zimbabwe succeed. Anything to suggest that the UK wants to harm Zimbabwe or ordinary Zimbabweans is simply false.”

The UK spoke as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) designated 25 October as a day for solidarity against sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the European Union (EU), United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) nearly 20 years ago.

SADC’s anti-sanctions day follows a major show of solidarity by the African Union and African leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

SADC chair and Democratic Republic of the Congo President Félix Tshisekedi and other regional heads of state spoke out against the Zimbabwe sanctions.

In his capacity as AU chair, Senegal’s President Macky Sall led the continent’s call for their removal, although Africa’s leaders were criticised for not proffering an alternative and turning a blind eye on wanton rights abuses, weaponisation of the law and violence against Zimbabwe’s opposition and political activists.

Elsewhere, dozens on Tuesday made an impromptu protest outside the United States Embassy in Harare,