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Zimbabwean Parties In Alliance Against American-British Sanctions

July 18, 2008

The Zimbabwe Organisation of Opposition Political Parties, an alliance of small political parties, has slammed the imposition of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe, saying foreigners should not be allowed to meddle in the internal affairs of the country.

Speaking at the official launch of the alliance, ZOOPP president Mr Gift Gotora said sanctions hurt ordinary persons and not the intended targets, adding that they should never be used as a tool to settle any differences.

"ZOOPP does not agree that our economic problems can be solved by imposing sanctions of any size to the country. If anything, the effect of sanctions, targeted or not, tends to hurt most of the innocent than the intended targets, because the intended targets are part and parcel of the nation and are thus difficult to target without bruising the innocent," said Mr Gotora while addressing journalists in the capital.

"It is, therefore, the intention of ZOOPP to seek to enlighten the international world on the consequences of sanctions to the ordinary people of Zimbabwe. Ever since the introduction of sanctions against Zimbabwe, the standard of living of the majority has gone from worse to worst which in our honest view is not the intended result of these sanctions."

The alliance's secretary for foreign affairs, Reverend Gerald Mubaiwa, denounced foreign interference and castigated Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga for his remarks deriding Zimbabwean authorities.

"We do not want imposed democracy. External forces should not determine who is going to rule Zimbabwe," said Rev Mubaiwa, who is the leader of the Multi-Racial Christian Democracy.

Turning to talks between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations, Mr Gotora said there was need for the process to be all-inclusive.

"As a group, we want to participate in the current and any future talks. We believe these talks should not be partisan, but national. We believe we are partners with Government in tackling national issues," he said.

Political parties that constitute ZOOPP include Zanu Ndonga, Patriotic Union of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe People's Progress Democratic Party and Zapu-FP. None of them has representation in Parliament.

Mr Gotora said ZOOPP was formed with the aim of inculcating a culture of tolerance among rival political parties.







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