Is it time to stop punishing Zimbabwe?

mugabeIt’s been labelled everything from a pariah state to a basket case, and its President a monster. But Southern African heads of state have called on the international community to end sanctions on Zimbabwe.

“Considering the positive evolution of the situation, considering the progress that has been made, we believe it is now high time that the sanctions are lifted,” Congolese President Jospeh Kabila said. Previously, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has claimed that Western sanctions have hurt Zimbabwe’s economy and accuses Washington and Brussels of maintaining the punitive measures in a bid to force him out of power. And South African president Jacob Zuma has said sanctions need to be removed because they’re holding back economic development.

This blogger asks: “How do you choke Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe when his strongest rationale for staying in power is to save his country from the hands of countries who would (and do) impose sanctions? Perhaps it’s no wonder that such countries’ leaders not only survive sanctions, but use them to justify bad behavior.

But Human Rights Watch says it’s too early to remove sanctions because “the levers of power are still very much in the hands of the oppressors”.

What do you think? Is it time to end sanctions? Or with the raft of problems that Zimbabwe still faces, is it too early to bring Zimbabwe in from the cold?

12 Responses to “Is it time to stop punishing Zimbabwe?”

  1. 1 patti in cape coral
    September 9, 2009 at 14:12

    It looks like the sanctions only harm innocent civilians, and do nothing at all to Mugabe and CO., but I don’t really know any other alternatives.

  2. 2 Kev McVann
    September 9, 2009 at 14:45

    Not till Mugabe leaves or dies after that … YES .

  3. September 9, 2009 at 16:24

    No! Mugabe and henchmen are the problem,don’t reward them. They are still corrupt.

  4. 4 Tom K in Mpls
    September 9, 2009 at 16:35

    The people are hurt either way. So this is not a concern. Mugabe has proven that he will maintain power with or without sanctions. Once again, a non issue. Basically we need to forget Zimbabwe directly in this issue. The next concern would be the neighbors.

    There are two questions. Can the neighbors influence Zimbabwe for the better? And more importantly, are we hurting the region more than the country? Face it, you rarely get to have a perfect answer.

  5. 5 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
    September 9, 2009 at 19:32

    Though sanctions are remove on our dear president Mr Robert Gabriel Mugabe,it will not bringdown the highest unemployment & inflation rates in the country as long he remain on top,anyway let praise him for protecting African lands.

  6. 6 Miriam from USA/Israel
    September 10, 2009 at 00:40

    Dont hurt the people! We did it to Iraqi kids. It is inhumane…

    We are neglecting and abusing Asians like Mongolians, Vietnamese, Indians etc. while rewarding rogue states like Pakistan…

  7. 7 scmehta
    September 10, 2009 at 06:48

    Yes, partially, and for the time being only towards taking care of the urgent needs of the common people there; But, it is also time to start punishing those corrupt and wrong-doers who were responsible for causing and/or allowing this catastrophic scenarios to take place.

  8. 8 Chirandu - Harare
    September 10, 2009 at 10:11

    America and Europe are evil. They are fighting Mugabe because he dared to return land to its rightful owners. He has set a precedent that the West does not want the rest of the Third World to follow. They are using sanctions to threaten other Third World leaders. The sanctions show the rest what will happen if you oppose the West. Long live Cde Mugabe!

  9. 9 Michael S.
    September 10, 2009 at 12:27

    Well, the European Union does in fact support and invest in Zimbabwe even they say they don’t. At Norfolk Rd. in Harare the EU just build a huge office complex with offices of commerce (Delegation of the European Commission to Zimbabwe) in direct neighborhood the the british embassy. The whole place around Norfolk Rd. is one big construction field for the european union and I wonder who they got the land from and how much they pay to the Mugabe Regime? This is ridiculous business because on the one hand they officially say they do not support development aid anymore because of the difficault political situation, one the other hand they push millions in such projects to not lose the race with the chinese.

  10. 10 Save Sambiri
    September 10, 2009 at 13:19

    sad that the people who are really hurting from these sanctions can’t email their thoughts to BBC

    Sanctions kill innocent people, how do I know………………………………. I AM FROM ZIMBABWE

  11. 11 Dennis Junior
    September 10, 2009 at 16:49

    That is good news that Europe wants to normalise ties with Zimbabwe…

    Only, a time ago; E.U. wanted Robert Mugabe out of the picture…


    [Same comments, that I wrote on BBC Radio 5 Message Boards]

  12. 12 Dennis Junior
    September 12, 2009 at 23:44

    (First post of the 2 questions)

    ….What do you think? Is it time to end sanctions?…

    I personally, don’t like the entire idea of relaxing the sanctions against Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; But, I want the SANCTIONS against the People of the Country immediately dropped….

    =Dennis Junior=

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