Friday, February 11, 2011

Zimbabwe Opposition Group Working With West on Sanctions, Says WikiLeaks

MDC-T working with West on sanctions — WikiLeaks

Monday, 07 February 2011 23:11
Herald Reporter

A new batch of disclosures by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks reveals that MDC-T has been working with the European Union on determining what kind of sanctions should be imposed on Zimbabwe.

This is despite claims by MDC-T that they have no control over the West’s sanctions on the country.

The disclosures — which quote MDC-T secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti — relate to a communication between the United States Embassy in London, Britain and Washington’s State Department, which is America’s foreign affairs headquarters.

The revelation confirms former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s declaration last year that London received direction from MDC-T on how to conduct its sanctions policy.

The WikiLeaks disclosures last Friday are titled “Somalia/Zimbabwe/
South Africa: UK Ministers on Resources, Sanctions, and Relations”.

The US embassy communication quotes Mr Biti suggesting the need for a “partial lifting” of sanctions.

Mr Biti, who is Finance Minister in the inclusive Government, names parastatals and at least one individual who he thought should be removed from sanctions — including former Zanu-PF Politburo member Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, who now heads a formation he calls Zapu.

Mr Biti also suggests that the EU remove the names of people who are deceased, which was subsequently done.

According to the cable the EU “decided to support . . . a minimal lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe by delisting the eight parastatals reques-ted by Finance Minister Tendai Biti”.

It adds: “UK ministers agreed to support within the EU the de-listing of (1) the eight parastatals requested by Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Tendai Biti, (2) any persons on the list who have died, (3) a Lebanese national (NFI), and (4) former Zanu-PF supporter Dr Dumiso Dabengwa.”

In January last year, the EU de-listed Thamer Bin al-Shanfari, late Vice President and national hero Vice President Joseph Msika, and other national heroes such as Cde Richard Hove and Retired General Vitalis Zvinavashe, as well as late police Assistant Commissioner Todd Jangara.

The firms removed from the embargo include the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe, Intermarket Holdings Limited, Oryx Diamonds Limited, Scotfin Limited, ZB Financial Holdings, ZB Holdings Limited, Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, Zimre Holdings Limited and Zimre Reinsurance Company.

Political analyst Mr Godwine Mureriwa yesterday said it was not surprising that MDC-T had been confirmed by the EU to be involved in the creation and maintenance of sanctions against Zimbabwe.

“That is what everyone has been saying since 2001. MDC-T wants to get into power by every means necessary and do not have the interests of Zimbabweans at heart.

“An analysis of the events in the past 10 years will show MDC-T’s complicity in the sanctions regime.

“At one time the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair acknowledged in their parliament that his government was working with MDC-T to effect regime change and these sanctions are part of that effort,” he said.

Mr Mureriwa said even the proposed amendments to America’s Zimbabwe Demo-cracy and Economic Recovery Act are meant to facilitate funding to ministries controlled by MDC-T in the inclusive Government.

According to the Global Political Agreement, which facilitated creation of the inclusive Government, Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC are supposed to work together to get sanctions on Zimbabwe lifted.

Ironically, Mr Biti was one of MDC-T’s negotiators to the talks that led to signing of the GPA.

The parties formed an inter-ministerial committee to spearhead the agenda but MDC-T has been accused of not doing anything to fulfil this obligation.

The EU has also been accused of dragging its feet in meetings with the inter-ministerial committee and has actively sought to frustrate the process.

In 2009 committee member, Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa, was detained at Frankfurt International Airport in Germany for nearly seven hours while en route to Belgium for the talks.

Last year, there were attempts to deny him a Belgian visa when he was due to attend another meeting.

Another WikiLeaks disclosure last week revealed that MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, who is Prime Minister in the inclusive Government, used his State visit to the US in 2009 to plot President Mugabe’s ouster.

No comments: