End Economic Sanctions Against Zimbabwe - Scrap ZDERA

On July 23, 2016, we discontinued our forums. We ask our members to please join us in our new community site, The Hartmann Report. Please note that you will have to register a new account on The Hartmann Report.

13 posts / 0 new

Time to end economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, and scrap the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001.

From the Zimbabwe Guardian:

White businessmen denounce sanctions
By: New Ziana-TZG
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 3:45 am

SOME white businessmen in Matabeleland South Province have added their voice to the anti-sanctions lobby by appending their signatures to the petition against the imposition of illegal sanctions imposed by Britain, United States and their western allies.

The businessmen included miners, farmers, professionals and businessmen.

They gathered at St Christopher Primary School on Saturday where scores of people from all the province's seven districts gathered to show their displeasure over discredited embargo.

Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development minister Dr Olivia Muchena led the proceedings.

In separate interviews, the white businessmen said sanctions were not targeted, but affecting everyone across the country and the Government's economic recovery programmes.

"These sanctions must be removed as soon as yesterday, they are strongly affecting our businesses," said Patrick Middleton -- a dairy farmer from Esigodini.

He added: "You will realise that it's difficult to access loans from banks to procure inputs and we also need to import some of these implements,"

"Business was very sound around here before the country was slapped with sanctions and if they are not removed any meaningful efforts to revive the economy will be met with challenges.

"I am calling on all concerned Zimbabweans to come out in their numbers and support the anti-sanctions campaign."

Middleton said farmers and businesspeople were concerned over the issue because their businesses were slowly crumbling.

"We need money and there is no way we can succeed under these conditions.

"We are calling on the western governments to reconsider their decision which has led to suffering among most Zimbabweans," he said.

Another dairy farmer from Esigodini , Ms Tinky said the banking systems were crippled and there was no access to money to support the agro-based economy in the province and the country as a whole.

MrK's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm


this issue needs to be addressed with boldness because all those who are involved in such a system got their own interests so they dont take it easy as we think its time we show the world where we are heading to and what our plans can become. l realy apreciate this please keep up the good work

wakurawarerwa jonah's picture
wakurawarerwa jonah
Jun. 17, 2011 6:49 am
Quote wakurawarerwa jonah:this issue needs to be addressed with boldness because all those who are involved in such a system got their own interests so they dont take it easy as we think its time we show the world where we are heading to and what our plans can become. l realy apreciate this please keep up the good work
Hi Jonah,

Thank you very much. It is more than time that the mainstream media started reporting and actually factchecking what they write about Zimbabwe.

MrK's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

This article shows that labour issues are deeply impacted by neoliberal/neocolonial economics and the attitude of employers to both.

Workers fired over sanctions
Monday, 20 June 2011 01:00
By Jonah Takaendesa

FOUR workers with a Harare wholesaler lost their jobs for taking a day off to attend the National Anti-Sanctions Petition Campaign launch by President Mugabe early this year.

Freddie Matika, Vitalis Mbanje, Tendai Zengeni and Netsai Kureya - who were employed by Massmart Wholesalers in Msa-sa, Harare - were fired for attending the launch on March 12 after being refused permission to take time off although labour laws mandate a lower penalty for just one day's unapproved absence.

The fifth one, only identified as Godfrey, was later reinstated.
The national event, which attracted thousands of Zimbabweans from all walks of life, sought to gather over two million Zimbabwean signatures denouncing the illegal sanctions.

The five had sought permission from their employer Mr Gary Phinburger to go and append their signatures to the anti-sanctions petition.
Mr Phinburger reportedly turned down the request.

However, this did not deter the five as they defied their employer's directive not to absent themselves from work for the launch.
When they reported for work, the emplo-yer told them that they were fired for absenteeism, even though this unapproved abse-nce was just one day.

Matika and Mbanje then confronted the employer through the Mushandi Munhu Worker's Federation, over his decision to fire them but nothing materialised.

Matika and Mbanje pursued their case and were later given US$660 and US$440 respectively as their packages.

The other two are reportedly still to claim their severance packages.
Said Matika: "When we came back the following day, our boss told us that we were fired from work.

"He categorically stated that he was against the signing of the anti-sanctions petition campaign launch, so there was no reason for him to consider our request."

When The Herald called Mr Phinburger on his mobile phone, a worker, who refused to be identified, answered it.

He confirmed the incident saying the five were fired, but only one of them was reinstated.

He also confirmed that Matika and Mbanje were given their severance packages while the other two were still to claim their packages.

"It happened and the employer has since resolved the labour dispute by paying the two the said amounts after terminating their contracts," he said without giving further details.

Harare lawyer Mr Isheunopa Mataka of Matsikidze and Mucheche law firm said if that happened, then the employer contravened provisions of the labour law.

He said no worker should be fired for absenting him or herself from work for one day, in terms of the labour law.

"It is not legal for an employee to be fired for one day absenteeism. The employer should charge his or her employee for misconduct and convene a disciplinary hearing of which findings should not guarantee him or her to terminate the employee's contract," he said.

Another lawyer from Masvingo, Mr Phillip Shumba echoed the same sentiments adding that an employer may fire an employee for being absent from work for a period exceeding five consecutive days.
"The action taken was unlawful. The employer flagrantly flouted the provisions of the Labour Act," he said.

In the National Anti-Sanctions Petition Campaign, Zimbabweans append their names, signatures and identification number to register their protest to the West and demand an immediate end to the widely discredited embargo.

Zimbabweans - including the business community, church groups and other sectors - have spoken strongly against the illegal sanctions.

The African Union, Sadc, Comesa and the Non-Aligned Movement have all slammed the illegal sanctions that are the major outstanding issue on the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement signed by parties to inclusive Government in September 2008.

The MDC formations and their Western sponsors have, however, steadfastly refused to take part in the campaign insisting that the sanctions were targeted.

Sadc emissaries who had been sent to Western capitals to lobby for the removal of the sanctions told the just-ended Sadc extraordinary summit in Sandton, South Africa that MDC-T leaders were Nichodemously telling Westerners to maintain the illegal embargo against the letter and spirit of the GPA.

MrK's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Its ashame we cannot talk China into letting us pay off our US debt with dollars from Zimbabwe....

They already print 20, 50, and 100 TRILLION dollar bills.

Maybe if we give Bernanke and Geitner a little time our money will be so worthless we can print some new notes?

I figure we could put Jimmy Carter on the $20,000,000,000,000

Maybe put FDR on the $50,000,000,000,000

And Obama can have the $100,000,000,000,000

harshreality's picture
Jun. 17, 2011 12:21 pm

Maybe we could put Reagan on the $100,000,000,000,000.000 and Bush on the $100,000,000,000,000.000 000,000...

A successful farmer I used to correspond with in Zimbabwe had his farm confiscated, broken up and distributed to people who didn't know how to farm....then he disappeared. The bread-basket of Africa can no longer even feed itself.

Zimbabwe destroyed its own economy. for corrupt political expediency.. Its economic infrastructure was dismantled and sold off. You'll find the funds from the sales in their President's foreign bank accounts.

Zimbabwe has opted for producing money rather than goods. The U.S. seems to be adopting the same policy...throwing trillions at Wall Street so they can multiply the money with intensified speculation. The productive/distributive economy has been deemed irrelevant....thus outsourcing. A few benefit enormously from that policy.

Retired Monk -"Ideology is a disease"

Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

What happened to the farmer is what you guys want to do with big corporations, big oil, big agriculture, and the banksters. Nationalize them, break them up and give them to other people. Maybe we should let the people that work hard to produce keep the benefits of their labor. I am sympothetic to the poor farmer in Zimbabwe. Nobody should be entitled to take the fruit of someone elses labor.

harshreality's picture
Jun. 17, 2011 12:21 pm

The farmer I referred to didn't control government at the expense of the many. His farm was broken up and given to non-farmers..

No one is suggesting that big banks be broken up and be given to janitors to manage. No one is suggesting big oil be broken up and be given to beauticians to manage. False analogy.

There is plenty of talent within "to big to fail" entities to run more and smaller entities efficiently.... even though billion dollar bonuses and economies being held hostage would fall to the wayside..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".


Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

In our form of government, who do you feel is empowered to pick who should or should not be running private corporations? As far as I know the companies are accountable to Government to follow law & tax code, to the board of directors, to their customers and share holders. If the company is meeting its legal obligations what authority do you feel you have to make any changes or to pick out what you feel the talent is?

harshreality's picture
Jun. 17, 2011 12:21 pm

Probably the human resource records of companies...and resumes.... would provide staff selections for broken up companies...just like they did when AT & T was broken up . The new telephone companies remained in private hands,,didn't they?

AT & T's existing and experienced staffs merely moved from one office building to another. What was broken up was a monoply, not an experienced work force..The new owners didn't hire janitors to run them...and probably did retain experienced janitors to clean the new quarters.

Right wing talking points just don't fly with me.They are too full of contradictions. and half-truths.

Retired Monk -"Ideology is a disease"

Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm


The farmer I referred to didn't control government at the expense of the many. His farm was broken up and given to non-farmers..

Well what else would he say? That the new owners are doing great? There are enough stories of white farmers destroying their own farm equipment and killing their own animals just so the new owners won't get their hands on them.

The bread-basket of Africa can no longer even feed itself.

When was Zimbabwe ever the 'breadbasket' of anyone or anything? When did Rhodesia or Southern Rhodesia 'feed' Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, etc?

That is just one of those myths that exist to rationalize the continuation of the colonial economy. I'm sure Thom Hartmann could tell you himself about that, as he visited Rhodesia in the 1970s.

On the Breadbasket Myth, observed from how it is repeated in the mainstream media, specifically CNN - THE BREADBASKET MYTH:



In the post-colonial globalization dispensation, racial disparities are no longer justified
using the civilisation ladder as such, but on the basis of development and the rule of law
(Young, 2003; Furedi, 1994).

Hence, changing the colonial status quo is always associated with great economic risks and underdevelopment. For example, according to Moyo (2005), when the new government tried to continue with its orderly land reform in the 1990s during the advent of the free market reforms in the country, Britain, the World Bank, and the IMF discouraged it arguing that resettlement of the landless masses ‘would result in overall decline in output and in the number of people gainfully employed in agriculture’ (Sachikonye, 2003, p. 230).

Whereas CNN may rightly be portraying Mugabe as a sadistic dictator in some respects, it is wrong to suggest that blacks must only be content with jobs and not the ownership and control of their economies. Through the use of the constantly repeated myth of Zimbabwe as the ‘former bread basket’ of Southern Africa, CNN generated fear in the electorate by equating Mugabe’s indigenisation policies to further economic collapse and not black empowerment. This breadbasket myth is denied by Pilger, (2008, p.3) who argues that postcolonial Zimbabwe ‘was a profoundly unequal society up to its ears in debt, with the International Monetary Fund waging war on its economy, waving off investors and freezing loans.’

Yet, the myth of the ‘regional bread basket’ was constantly used by CNN in a way that, while overlooking internal racial disparities in post colonial Zimbabwe, effectively portrayed white dominance and black subservience as a natural and normal face of post colonial Africa.

Clearly, CNN’s news myths here served an ideological purpose of ‘giving an historical intention a natural justification’ (Barthes, 1972, p. 155) and proved how inadequate global journalism is in explaining the contradictions of the postcolonial world.

MrK's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote harshreality:I am sympothetic to the poor farmer in Zimbabwe. Nobody should be entitled to take the fruit of someone elses labor.
Well that's rich. I presume that with 'poor farmer in Zimbabwe' you mean the previous estate owners. And they did nothing except profit from other people's barely paid (if that) labor. :)

From The Herald:

‘If you don’t pay, you won’t win’
By Isdore Guvamombe
Sunday, 09 January 2011 19:12

THE farm is nestled in a valley surrounded by a blue-tinged mountain range, euphemistically referred to as the Mvurwi, by the local Korekore people.

Nationally and geomorphologically, the mountain range is called the Great Dyke Range — that huge backbone of Zimbabwe famed for its vast mineral resources, ranging from chrome to vanadium and gold, among others. The mountain range superimposes itself from Shurugwi to Guruve and on its foot, lies Lot 4 of Gomo Farm, just a spitting distance from the mountain’s final stretch to Dande.

Once you have driven to lot 4 of Gomo Farm through a dirt road, you will be forgiven to think the farm is being run by a multi-national company.

Tractors, motorbikes and vehicles criss-cross the farm roads in different directions for specific errands.

Workers on tractor-trailers or in the back of trucks or on foot do the same, all for the prosperity of production.

That hyper activity exudes the aura of some big company running a farm.
You will soon be surprised to find out that the owner is a beneficiary of the land reform programme, who never owned an inch of land before President Mugabe’s land reform.

Production levels in terms of maize, tobacco and soyabean, are unbelievably high and would make any discerning white former Rhodesian commercial farmer green with envy.
This is the story of Sydney Gwaze and his wife Concellia.

For 26 years, Gwaze worked for white commercial farmer Michael Mcgrath at Syalima Farm. All he got was a motorbike, yet in contrast, in the 10 years of the land reform he is a proud owner of a fleet of six tractors, nine vehicles, four motorbikes, 60 cattle and 70 pigs, among other things.

“The greatest thing to ever happen to my life, is the land reform programme. I worked for 26 years for nothing for that white man at Siyalima Farm. He promised me a lot of things that he never delivered and at the end of 26 years, all I had was a motorbike, yet he had everything.

“The way I am farming here is my personal way of thanking President Mugabe for giving me land. I was abused by the white man and we should not regret the land reform,’’ quips Gwaze, who employs 116 permanent workers and often engages contract workers. He also employs a manager and four foremen of all them with either motorbike or car for use.

While his farm of 111 hectares has only 35 ha of arable land, hence Gwaze is leasing land from his neighbours and that has enabled him to put 35 ha under tobacco, 17 ha under soya-bean and 40 ha of maize.

Among his equipment are planters, boom-sprays, six tractors (a 440 Extra, another 440 Extra two-wheeler, a Landini 786, a 6860 four-wheeler, another 6860 two-wheeler and a Messy Furgerson.

Gwaze has in the same decade acquired three lorries, a Mazda T-35, a Toyota Vigo, a Ford Ranger pick up truck, a Nissan Hardbody truck, a Toyota Corolla (Bubble), A Toyota 2,4 D.

“I had nothing when I worked for that white man. My father was a farm worker there and after school I joined the workers there, but I eventually went to the Tobacco Training Institute and got a Diploma in Tobacco Production. I still worked for nothing.

“At the advent of the land reform, I got an A1 plot at the same farm but four years ago, I moved to this place because I proved that the land was too small for me.

“Here I am finding the land too small again and everything permitting, I would love to move to a bigger farm. Only 35 ha of my 111 ha are arable, the rest are valleys and mountains. That is why it is called Gomo Farm.

“Renting land from my neighbours is also difficult because when they want to use their land, they take it back. I also till their fields in exchange of farming land. In short it is difficult to plan for the next season, on a leased piece of land,’’ he said. By how did Gwaze manage to acquire all this property and equipment?

“Farming is business. Last year, I sold 151 tonnes of tobacco. I mean business. First I was getting loans from AgriBank and repaying and some friends linked me to Mashonaland Tobacco Company, where after years of working with them, now give me no limits in terms of my farming requirements. The land is the limit here.

“I get loans and repay them. The problem with most of our farmers is that when they get loans in terms of inputs, they sell them or if they get cash, they don’t pay back.

“When you borrow, you must pay back. That is business. Once you have a good record, you can get anything. So I encourage all farmers to pay back and become credit worthy,’’ he says.

On his workers, Gwaze says he has no shortage of labour because he pays them well.

“You will never be successful without happy workers. At the end of the selling season, I bought my foremen motorbikes, I bought my manager a car, I bought 10 of my senior workers double beds, others sofas, others plates and so on. They are very happy, you can actually talk to them.

“I am currently building houses for them and I want them to have decent accommodation. The more happy the workers are, the more they work. I turn away many people looking for work, because they know I pay.

“If I happen to get a bigger farm, I will start afresh and build again,’’ he said.


MrK's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Perhaps if he represented the majority of Zimbabwe's farmers, Zimbabwe could once again feed itself...and again become the bread basket of Africa... at least in the short-term..

I'm disheartened that the farm model is one that relies on converting petroleum into agricultural products. That isn't sustainable very far into the future...anywhere.

A visionary government would see that...and train would-be farmers sustainable agriculture on much smaller plots. Train the brightest in the schools to do that...not the ignorant who as in Haiti might chop down a fruit-bearing tree for firewood once they've obtained the season's fruit..People accustomed to having to live only for the moment to survive...live only for the moment. They don't think very far ahead..

It's difficult to see who is following who. Are we following Zimbabwe, or is Zimbabwe following us?. In either event, it's an agricultural disaster being played out in both countries.

Zimbabwe could get sanctions lifted by selling off their agricultural lands and natural resources to transnationals. We work well with any Third World Government who does that regardless of their leadership. We work against governments that don't..That's the reality of it.

Retired Monk -"Ideology is a disease".... .

Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Conservatives supposedly hate freeloading. So why are they trying to legalize it?

Conservatives supposedly hate freeloaders.

So why do they support right to work laws - which literally legalize freeloading?

Our nation's nine unelected monarchs on the Supreme Court are poised to deal yet another blow to organized labor.

Powered by Pressflow, an open source content management system