By: Samantha Chidzero
Posted: Sunday, February 6, 2011 8:47 am
THE Movement for Democratic Change party has been working with the European Union in the maintenance and partial lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe, despite claims by that party that they have no control of decisions made in Brussels over Zimbabwe.
A confidential cable released on Friday by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks shows that MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti has been making recommendations to the EU over who should, and who should not, remain on the sanctions list.
Despite media remarks by Biti that sanctions were hurting the economy and should be lifted, he has been advocating their "partial lifting".
The confidential memo released on Friday entitled "SOMALIA/ZIMBABWE/SOUTH AFRICA: UK MINISTERS ON RESOURCES, SANCTIONS, AND RELATIONS" quotes Biti suggesting the "partial lifting" of sanctions against eight parastatals and at least one individual and informing the EU of dead persons on the sanctions list.
The cable, which originated from the US embassy in London, in January 2010 says the EU "decided to support ... a minimal lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe by delisting the eight parastatals requested by Finance Minister Tendai Biti."
The memo also revealed that Biti was instrumental in having Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa removed from the list: "UK ministers agreed to support within the EU the de-listing of (1) the eight parastatals requested by Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Tendai Biti, (2) any persons on the list who have died, (3) a Lebanese national (NFI), and (4) former ZANU-PF supporter Dr. Dumiso Dabengwa."
The confidential diplomatic dispatch put paid to claims that MDC-T has no control over the sanctions policy in Brussels.
It also shows the duplicity of the MDC-T within the inclusive Government.
Ironically, Biti's MDC-T party has been involved in the EU-Zimbabwe political dialogue team which seeks to normalise relations (including lifting of Art. 96 of the Cotonou Agreement and sanctions) alongside progress in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement.
A separate confidential cable released last week revealed that MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is also the prime minister in the inclusive Government, used a state visit to the US to plot regime change in Zimbabwe.
Last year the MDC-T said it has no control in the matter of sanctions after President Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party charged that the former opposition party had a hand in setting the sanctions and therefore should be held responsible for removing them.
Zanu-PF has maintained that it will not give in to anymore MDC-T demands as it was not playing its role in the lifting of sanctions.