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Obama, EU Sanctions Continue to Weaken Morgan Tsvangirai

Morgan Tsvangirai
Zimbabwe PM Morgan Tsvangirai. Image via Wikipedia


The West’s racist sanctions on Zimbabwe continue to weaken the one person they’re meant to benefit: Zimbabwe Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Last week, British foreign secretary David Miliband admitted that the EU sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe will only be lifted on the advice of the MDC. He reportedly said:

“In respect of sanctions, we have made it clear that they can be lifted only in a calibrated way, as progress is made … and, above all, to be guided by what the MDC says to us about the conditions under which it is working and leading the country.”

Zimbabwe dictator, Robert Mugabe, has always insisted that the sanctions are aimed at punishing Zimbabweans and expediting Tsvangirai’s ascension to power. With statements like Miliband’s, it’s hard to dismiss the dictator’s propaganda.

But Miliband’s uneducated statement needs to be translated from a non-Western point of view. First, if the sanctions will only be lifted on Morgan Tsvangirai’s cue, he had a say in their origin. He is partly responsible. Second, as long as Tsvangirai is not the President of Zimbabwe, the West will continue to punish Zimbabweans on the pretext of punishing the Zimbabwe dictator.

The sanctions are set to further undermine Tsvangirai’s role in the country’s inclusive government with Mugabe.

Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and Tsvangirai’s the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), are currently discussing thorny issues involving mainly the appointment of key government officials. South Africa’s Mail & Guardian reports that Mugabe’s Zanu PF party will make no concessions until sanctions are lifted.

Tsvangirai himself and Zimbabweans are growing increasingly frustrated with the sanctions. The Washington Post reports that he criticized Miliband’s statements. Speaking on the sidelines of annual World Economic Forum, Tsvangirai’s deputy, Arthur Mutambara, said of Miliband’s statements:

“It’s an example of how Western leaders can be very unstrategic. We know they mean well, we know they support the people of Zimbabwe but when they make such statements they are completely undermining our bargaining power as the former opposition.

“So it’s very unfortunate and very ignorant for him to stay that. We are saying to these western leaders please can you be strategic for this challenge; can you talk to us before you make these unreasonable and meaningless statements because you are undermining Mr Tsvangirai; you are undermining all of us in this inclusive government.”

But US President Barack Obama is in on undermining Tsvangirai – through double standards in his application of foreign policy. Obama directly negotiates with the Taliban, repressive regimes in North Korea and Sudan and yet refusing to open direct channels with Zimbabwe’s Mugabe.

Zimbabweans must liberate themselves from Robert Mugabe but never lose sight of the West’s racist regime-change agenda that seeks to replace the dictator with a stooge. They must continue to reject Morgan Tsvangirai. Zimbabwe cannot afford another Robert Mugabe.

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