US trip not to call for sanctions against Zanu PF: PDP

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has refuted allegations that the trip to the United States (US) by the MDC-Alliance was to call  for the extension of sanctions, specifically those contained in the Zimbabwe Democracy Recovery Act (ZIDERA).

The MDC Alliance has deployed a team which includes PDP President Tendai Biti, Prof Welshman Ncube, Hon Adv Nelson Chamisa and Mr Jacob Ngarivhume on a diplomatic mission specifically to update the international community on developments in Zimbabwe.

PDP said the Alliance had already scheduled the trip well before the coup of 14 November 2017.

“We have already stated that the international community has a responsibility to ensure a stable and democratic Zimbabwe. In an interconnected world like the one we live in today, ignoring turmoil in the next country entails the desire to see the problems exported to your own door step. The current migrants crisis across the globe including the recent developments on slave trade in Libya is evidence to this fact.

“In his speech at the “Gathering of the Daily Maverick” on the 22nd of November 2017 President Biti warned the international community that disengaging on the Zimbabwean situation will result in neighbouring countries paying a far bigger price in the future due to the spill over effect. He made reference to the millions of Zimbabweans who are now resident in South Africa as Exhibit A of the ramifications of the disengagement of SADC on the Zimbabwean situation since the last summit on Zimbabwe held in Maputo in 2013,” PDP said in a statement.

The party said the diplomatic round trip to several countries in Africa, Europe and America was no different from the message delivered by Biti at the “Gathering” but was rather an attempt to ensure that “the military intervention” of 14 November 2017 does not self-replicate and become part of our cyclical unconstitutional means of dispute resolution.

In August of 2014, the PDP wrote to the SADC seeking the board’s reengagement with the Zimbabwe situation. The point it made then was witnessed three years later.

“Your Excellency, we make the point that failure to act now will result in the unpalatable suffering of the Zimbabwean people and the temptation by others to resort to unlawful and unconstitutional means of redress,” read part of the PDP dossier to SADC.

The PDP argued that the only way to avoid the return of military tanks in the streets was to ensure there was electoral sustainability achieved through a free and fair election. The party seeks to urge all the players in the international community who in one way or the other engage with the Zimbabwean authorities whether de jure or de facto to encourage them to ensure a free and fair election which at the present moment is in jeopardy.

Zimbabweans as a matter of fact have in the past few days witnessed serious human rights violations by the military. PDF urged the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) to ensure the troops return to the barracks to attend to core responsibilities provided in section 212 of the constitution. It expressed concern about newspaper reports that carried a story of gunmen who opened fire on a bus which was full of passengers – unarmed civilians for that matter.

“The government must respect the rights and freedoms of Zimbabwean citizens; it is a thrust whose absence in the speeches of the new leadership is suspicious, one is forced to connect the dots when the army starts beating up people in the streets and opening fire on a coach.

“In this regard we make no apology for reaffirming our commitment to the use of instruments of International Law as a deterrent to oppression of the people by individuals who purport to lead them.”

The Biti-led party said genuine leadership in Zimbabwe must not be scared of this approach unless if they intent to continue with Mugabeism – a phenomena which was rejected by Zimbabweans on the 18th of November 2017.

The United States is already supporting Zimbabwe, a withdrawal of US support will see a total collapse of our public health system which is highly dependent on this aid in combating Malaria, Tuberculosis and the administration of Anti-Retroviral Therapy hence the PDP would not call for imposition of sanctions against the Southern African country.

On the basis that the current government still has shady characters and cannot be trusted with these and other funds, support must continue to be directed to programs that directly link with the Zimbabwean people, the PDP said.

“Funds meant for industrial recapitalisation can always be handled by banks without the government landing its hands on the money, surely expecting us to trust Obert Mpofu before the repatriation of the 15 billion is expecting too much.

“In fact this is an approach that we would employ even if we were in government, private sector credit lines must be administered by the banks. Risk of debt adoption must at all times be removed from the already overburdened tax payer,” PDP said.

As to the issues relating to balance of payments support from the IMF, the PDP position has always been that the laws of the country must be respected.

The Public Debt Management Act and Constitution require parliamentary approval before any debt contraction must be respected religiously. The same Public Debt Management Act prevents government from contracting any debt which will cause total outstanding public and publicly guaranteed debt to exceed 70% of the previous year’s GDP.

The current stock of sovereign debt and domestic debt (which is no different from sovereign debt as it is indexed in United States dollars) put against the total population means Zimbabweans owe at least US$200 000 each including the kids being born today at Harare and Mpilo hospitals.

In that regard, the government ought to deal with the current debt before they acquire new debt and the strategy must comply with international  finance rules specifically the respect of the pari passu rule which requires equal treatment of all creditors by a debtor.
The debt strategy must not aid and abet the magnification of a High Risk Country Profile.

PDP added that Zimbabwe needs a holistic debt strategy in the form of the Zimbabwe Accelerated Arrears Debt and Development Strategy (ZAADS) pursued during the Government of National Unity. It does not require mendacity, duplicity and hypocrisy. Since 2004 Multilateral Debt Relief Initiatives have been existent helping so many poor African countries clear their arrears.

“A special set of rules for Zimbabwe must not be created. Rules which will only benefit the leaders and their acolytes in Zanu. Rules which will cause further disequilibrium of the economy and further impoverish the Zimbabwean people. We are also clear in that any future democratic government reserves the right to repudiate and will repudiate the odious debt to the people of Zimbabwe.

“We are seeking an end to the unpalatable suffering of our people. We seek an exit to the context of an economy on its knees, massive deindustrialisation, absent aggregate demand, chocking expenditure outlays and a crippling banking crisis. Any of our activities in the PDP and the MDC Alliance seek to achieve this goal no amount of lies from this government which has since its inception benefited from an influx of fake news will stop our endeavour.”