Sanctions Are Witchcraft & Zimbabwe will Emerge from them: Prophet Makandiwa

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United Family International Church (UFIC) founder Prophet Makandiwa has said Zimbabwe will soon emerge from the shackles of sanctions that have constricted development, warning that those bent on cursing the country would attract God’s wrath, the Herald has reported.

Speaking to thousands of congregants at the church’s Chitungwiza Basilica on Sunday, Makandiwa said those powerful nations that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe would soon be shocked at how this country would begin to flourish, adding those particular countries would begin to wither if they continued to curse Zimbabwe.

“Sanctions is not an economic term, it’s witchcraft. It means whatever power you have it will not work for you.

“We know how sanctions can destroy any nation regardless of who is in charge.  But I believe that God has this country at heart and it is this God who is returning the country to prosperity.

“Zimbabwe will prosper very soon. There is no country with the word of God such as this one. God is about to do something,” said Prophet Makandiwa to much applause from the congregants.

“Kune dzimwe nyika dzichasara nemakey muhomwe asi chain dzakadonha kare. (Some of these countries will have the fallacy that their sanctions are still having an effect when in fact Zimbabwe would have escaped such bondage.)

He drew parallels to the story of Peter in the Book of Acts who escaped from prison supernaturally. Prison guards woke up to find them gone yet all locks on the doors and gates were intact.

Prophet Makandiwa warned other nations to handle Zimbabwe with care.

“Zimbabwe has now become a very sensitive nation. It will cause other nations to go down if these nations are not careful. There are fortified nations that never had problems in the past,  but they have to be very careful now in the way they handle Zimbabwe’s matters.”

The country, once known as the breadbasket of Southern Africa, has been wallowing under illegal sanctions imposed by the West for political reasons.

The sanctions have immensely affected the economy as such institutions as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has withheld funding while those keen to help Zimbabwe have been prevented from doing so due to bans on transactions involving Zimbabwe within the global financial system. The country has failed to benefit from many facilities and programmes accessed by other nations on the continent as the sanctions albatross has continued to hang over its head.

The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2000 after they accused ex-president Robert Mugabe of trampling on human rights, rigging elections and repression of press freedom – accusations that the nonagenarian denied.

The sanctions led to devastating economic challenges, with the country reportedly now sitting with about 85% unemployment.

Recently, United States President Donald Trump renewed sanctions through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act after the new government failed to meet international obligations, and spurned an offer for a willing partner in the United States.

The renewed sanctions mean Zimbabwe must brace for further economic turmoil, the Daily News of August 12 published.

Analysts warned the renewed sanctions will spread misery across Zimbabwe’s economy, with a recession expected to hit factories and roll back production, especially those that run in partnership with multinational companies barred from the market by US sanctions.

Blue-collar families also face the prospect of job losses, worsening inflation, speeding up the decline of the currency and making imports scarcer and more difficult to acquire, the tabloid further stated.

The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment (Zidera) Act of 2018, which amends the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, was introduced into Congress on March 22.

Congress overwhelmingly approved the legislation, passing a measure that had outlined the steps the southern African country must fulfil for US-imposed sanctions to be lifted, namely the holding of “free and fair” elections.

But the apparent olive branch was taken away soon after the crackdown on protesters was unfurled while the votes were still being counted, in front of many observers, including US observers, with the policy of rapprochement quickly replaced by hawkish calls in Washington for tougher sanctions on Harare if no halt to the crackdown was implemented.

Trump signed the bill behind closed doors, without the fanfare that has customarily accompanied his signing of executive orders.

Heather Nauert, the US State Department spokesperson said in a tele-press conference that the Zimbabwe elections on July 30 — “were promising, very promising.”

“We thought it was a historic chance to sort of move beyond the political and economic crises of the past and toward a more democratic change and better dialogue in that country. People turned out massively in those elections. We put out a statement just after those elections complimenting them on those elections.

“However, the success in delivering an election day that was peaceful and open to international observers was then marred by violence, which we’ve been seeing and has been heavily reported, at least in the international press, over the past about week and a half. We’ve seen a disproportionate use of deadly force against protestors by the security forces, which is a great concern of ours.

“We’re concerned by those numerous reports of human rights violations since the elections had taken place about a week and a half or two ago. We have received credible allegations of detentions, of beatings, and other abuses of the people of Zimbabwe, particularly targeting opposition activists,’ Nauert said.

“Now, the latest news today is the foreign — excuse me, the former minister of Finance had left to go to Zambia. Zambia returned him to Zimbabwe, we understand. And some of this is still fresh so we don’t have all the details at this point. But I understand he was detained and possibly let go. So I’m going to pause there because some of this is still unfolding, and I don’t want to give you any inaccurate information since it’s still developing.”

Stephen Chan, a professor of world politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, told the Daily News that if the crackdown on protesters had not occurred while the votes were still being counted, in front of many observers, including US observers — and if the riot police had not invaded the grounds of the Bronte Hotel where US observers were staying, and if the roundup of MDC activists and politicians in the Harare suburbs and in other towns had not occurred, the US would have held back the new sanctions.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said the extension of the US measures shows a lack of confidence of the international community in Mnangagwa’s new dawn.

“The conditions they gave are easy to meet if the Zanu PF administration really wants to transform and break from Mugabe. So as far as they intend to reduce human rights abuses and other excesses of the State the sanctions are okay.”

Saungweme said these US penalties are likely to hit working-class and low-income families the hardest.

“But we know from experience the economic effects of sanctions have bigger incidence and impact on the poor and weak whom the sanctions seek to protect from abusive dictators. To that extent, I would see the sanctions as doing more harm to the poor than good. The poor will now suffer from a double tragedy of rights abuses at the hands of the dictatorial regime and unpromising economic prospects from sanctions. Dialogue and back-channel diplomacy are alternatives to sanctions that work and have less human costs. Americans should adopt these than sanctions,” Saungweme said.

In the wake of the crackdown in Harare, US senators reportedly demanded tougher punishment for Zimbabwean leaders until they scale back their crackdown on the opposition. Diplomatic sources said the senators also urged Trump to keep all options on the table while keeping the door open to diplomacy.

The new stance from Congress is a sharp departure from the Trump administration’s policy of appeasement and propitiation after the fall of Mugabe, which has pursued a softer line on Zimbabwe as it transitions the presidency.

Mnangagwa had pledged to follow a path of moderation and promised to pursue a reform agenda that would lead to free and free elections.

The White House appeared willing to give the president a chance to put those pledges into action.

But two of US senators Christopher Coons and Jeff Flake who visited Zimbabwe’s capital and met with Mnangagwa expressed exasperation that the president had made a commitment to act, but some important actions required for progress towards the conditions for free and fair and credible elections did not happen. They suggested they were taken down a garden path by Mnangagwa.

Since assuming office in November last year Mnangagwa has embarked on a spirited campaign to end Zimbabwe’s international isolation. However, his critics have accused his government of not prioritising law and electoral reforms at home.

Resources: Herald, Daily News

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ImChris Charamba

ImChris Charamba

Head Storyteller at Enthuse Afrika. Balances literary writing with pop culture experience. Captivates raw, authentic sights, moments, feelings and conversations. Follow me on Twitter @ImChrisCharamba

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