The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Chairperson of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Félix Tshisekedi has made a strong appeal to those who imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to not use them as a covert mechanism to effect regime change.
The United States, United Kingdom and European Union first imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe after it introduced its revolutionary land reform programme, more than two decades ago.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Tshisekedi said Zimbabwean citizens must be given space to exercise their democratic rights as the country is expected to hold general elections in mid-2023.
“Once again, the [SADC] reaffirms its solidarity with the Government and People of the Republic of Zimbabwe and reiterates the calls for the unconditional and immediate lifting of sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwean individuals and institutions.
“SADC is deeply concerned at the claim that the sanctions are of a ‘targeted nature’ and are aimed at unilaterally punishing a few individuals.
“The reality is that there is a spill-over and contagion effect on the rest of the country, in particular by imposing a blanket negative perception about Zimbabwe across the world, in particular in the sensitive global financial markets,” he stressed.