The reasons presented by the U.S. and the EU for imposing sanctions against Zimbabwe are reasonable and will be of benefit to Zimbabweans if they are achieved.
However, employing sanctions as a measure to achieve these objectives is unacceptable considering their predictable outcome on the rights and well-being of the civilian population. Reflecting on the impact of the U.S. and the EU sanctions on the rights and well-being of Zimbabweans, the following questions arise for me: is it rational to modify our moral stance, ethical standards and human rights values in order to advance democracy?
More specifically, is it acceptable to relinquish the human rights and well-being of the majority (civilian population) in order to force a minority ruling group to comply with the demands of the sanctioning party or parties? Sanctions
against Zimbabwe triggered inflation and aided high levels of unemployment and capital flight, which in turn caused poverty and low quality of life for the population.
Thus, the Achilles heel of the U.S. and EU sanctions is not only evident in its inability to compel the so-called deviants or violators of democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe to retreat their steps and actions, but also in its inability to protect the inalienable rights, so to say, of the population.One important issue the U.S. and the EU should consider is whether sanctions are a reasonable way to enforce a change in the behaviour of Emmerson Munangagwa and his associates.
Sanctions have lasted more-than a decade without success in terms of goal attainment, therefore the U.S. and EU should forgo their present approach to the crisis that continues to destroy the country’s economy as well as violate the people’s rights. Instead, they should employ the moral imagination of peace.In doing so, the U.S. and EU should reengage the government of Zimbabwe diplomatically (through dialogue) and find a lasting solution to the impasse.
The conventional assumption that sanctions fill a gap in international diplomacy is problematic. The case in review has shown that such an approach is no longer appreciable, particularly, when we consider the fact that sanctions (targeted or comprehensive) end up in creating collateral damage. Therefore, the U.S. and the EU should reconsider their approach in Zimbabwe at-least in the interest and benefit of the