ZANU PF Members of Parliament (MPs) want to fly to the United States (US) to lobby Washington to lift sanctions first imposed on Zimbabwe after the fast-track land reform programme at the turn of the millennium.

The US sanctions programme targets human rights abusers and those who undermine democratic processes or facilitate corruption.

They have been reviewed annually with some officials being removed from the sanctions list.

Bikita South legislator Energy Mutodi said they wanted the sanctions programme titled the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) removed.

“Mindful that the imposition of these illegal sanctions has led to massive skills flight resulting in our people migrating to seek employment and other opportunities elsewhere,” Mutodi said while raising a motion on sanctions.

“Now, therefore, resolves that a delegation from Zimbabwe Parliament be sent to the US to present a briefing paper to the President of the US and Congress requesting their administration to expeditiously and unconditionally repeal ZIDERA which has caused so much suffering to ordinary citizens of our country.”

“The delegation will engage the US Congress to lift the unwarranted and illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.”

Zanu PF blames sanctions for wreaking havoc on the economy and making the populace poor.

However, the US denies the claims and accuses government authorities of corruption and mismanaging the economy.

Mutodi said the motion to have the ZIDERA removed was based on a report by Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Permanent Mission in Geneva which was produced in December 2020. The report discussed the impact the sactions had on Zimbabwe and the whole of Sadc. Chegutu East legislator, Webster Shamu, supported the motion to travel to the US to campaign for the removal of sanctions.

“Millions of Zimbabweans who are economically active, men and women of note left the country for the diaspora looking for employment opportunities and better standards of life which they have been deprived of due to the United States illegally sponsored sanctions,” Shamu said.

He said Zimbabwe had lost billions of US dollars in potential revenue because of the sanctions.

“…they have had a serious negative impact on the economic performance of Zimbabwe, as they not only affect the key productive sectors, which are the mining and agricultural sectors, but also put a negative tag on the country’s image leaving investors and donors less willing to support the country through investment and aid respectively,” Shamu said.