Makonde legislator and Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairperson on Foreign Affairs Kindness Paradza is angry that MDC legislators snubbed a visit to protesters who are camped outside the United States Embassy in Westgate.
The protesters (Broad Alliance Against Sanctions) who have camped outside the embassy for a record 348 days want the United States government to remove the sanctions it imposed on Zimbabwe more than 10 years ago, arguing that they are hurting ordinary people.
However, the US government is of the view that Harare must first meet the set conditions which include upholding of Human rights, political reforms as well as compensating white farmers who lost land during the land drive at the turn of the millennium.
Speaking to the media during a Parliamentary visit to get first-hand information from the protesters, Honourable Kindness Paradza said MDC snubbed the visit because they are guilty of calling for sanctions.
“MDC MP’s are not here because they are the ones behind sanctions Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube went to America to invite these sanctions, so you cannot expect their MP’s to be here,” Paradza said
However MDC Chief whip Prosper Mutseyami said his party snubbed the trip because it was not sanctioned by Parliament and therefore had no reason to go there.
“That trip was not sanctioned by Parliament, Parliament is still going through the procedures, Paradza went there in his own capacity and representing Zanu PF not Parliament
“In terms of the procedure the trip was not sanctioned and our MP’S follow Parliament rules and procedures,” Mutseyami said.
Broad Alliance Against Sanctions is expected to meet the whole committee on Tuesday next week at Parliament or at the open space opposite the American Embassy.
The US government extended sanctions on Zimbabwe recently by another year arguing that Harare had failed to reform or show signs of reforming after the removal of former President Robert Mugabe.
The US government are not the only ones that have slapped Zimbabwe with sanctions as the country is also under sanctions from the European Union (EU) but for the same reasons.
According to Zanu PF officials, sanctions have cost the country about US$98 billion since their inception.