Zimbabwean opposition leader Fanuel Lisenga urges Western countries to lift sanctions before 2023 elections

A billboard denouncing Western sanctions against the country is seen in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean opposition leader has asked Western countries to lift sanctions imposed on the country before the 2023 elections are held. He said removal of the sanctions would enable winners deliver without being burdened by the embargoes.

The Zimbabwe Republicans Front (ZRF) president Fanuel Lisenga said this in an interview with New Ziana on the sidelines of a rally which the party held in Luveve high density suburb at the weekend.

The ZRF stated that its mission was to seek dialogue with countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to lift them as they were burdening ordinary citizens and retarding the development of the country.

He called on other opposition political parties to join his party in denouncing the sanctions whose spiraling effect he said was affecting ordinary Zimbabweans, not the ruling party leadership as alleged by the West.

He said his party would soon hold an anti-sanctions march where all political parties would be invited to take part.

“Our agenda as Republicans is to see that sanctions are removed before we go for the elections. They are just bringing misery and pain to ordinary citizens,” said Lisenga.

“As opposition parties, we should not deny that the sanctions are real. Any party that wins the elections should not lead with the burden of sanctions. The party will not be able to deliver what it is mandated to do by the citizens. We cannot talk of any reforms before we talk of the removal of sanctions on our country.

“As a party, soon we are going to hold an anti-sanctions march where we are going to invite all political parties to be part of the event. If we go to polls with sanctions in place, the results will be disputed and our citizens will continue to suffer,” he added.

He called on for unity of purpose amongst political parties, saying dialogue was the only way to extricate the country from economic challenges that it is going through.

“We need unity of purpose as political parties. Zimbabwe is our country, and we need to agree as Zimbabweans on the way forward. Let’s take a leaf from the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo who signed a Unity Accord with the late President Robert Mugabe for the sake of peace and development in our country,” he said.

Lisenga said gone were the days when opposition parties were formed just for the sake of opposing everything that the ruling party did, regardless of whether it was benefitting the citizens.

He said youths were the most affected by sanctions, as most companies closed after they failed to access lines of credit to retool.

“We are there to compliment one another and do the checks and balances. We cannot be opposition just to oppose even where there is development,” explained Lisenga.

“Our generation has been greatly affected by the illegal embargo. We cannot say sanctions are targeted at Zanu (PF) leadership, yet their overspill effects are affecting ordinary people,” he added.

More African leaders have recently joined the calls for the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe to be lifted as they are having a ripple affect on the region and the continent as a whole.

The leaders of South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana, Namibia condemned the unilateral sanctions at the recently concluded United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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