Zambian President Rupiah Banda has challenged African and South American leaders gathered here to mobilise for the lifting of the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries led by Britain and the United States, saying the ruinous embargo has curtailed the capacity of the inclusive Government to deliver.
The Zambian leader said this yesterday in his address to the Second Africa-South America Summit that got underway on Saturday.
“Zimbabwean people have suffered economic isolation for too long, they were put under sanctions for empowering themselves.
“They have formed an inclusive Government which they support, and we support it but their efforts are affected by the sanctions. We call on the world to make sure that these sanctions are removed.”
The sanctions have been condemned the world over by, among others, the Non-Aligned Movement, Comesa, the AU and Sadc.
Southern African leaders, at the Sadc Summit in the DRC earlier this month, reiterated their call for the illegal sanctions to be lifted.
President Mugabe last week said he did not expect the Barack Obama administration in the United States to lift the sanctions anytime soon because he had merely inherited that regime from his predecessor George W. Bush, but pointed out that the embargo remained illegal nonetheless.
In their meeting in March this year in Swaziland, Sadc leaders pledged to assist Zimbabwe raise the US$8,3 billion that is needed to fully revive the economy.
To that end, South Africa made a financial contribution while others like Mozambique, Namibia and Botswana pleadged assistance in kind or alternatively by way of mutually beneficial economic partnership projects.
Zimbabwe’s economy has been ravaged by nearly a decade of Western sanctions that have seen the country fail to access meaningful multilateral financial support.
Herald of Zimbabwe