Yesterday, Hopewell appeared on SABC once again and began making false claims about Zimbabwe and sanctions as he does every other day on foreign media:

1. In his submission, he stated that sanctions on Zimbabwe are targeted, knowing well that #ZDERA, #IEEPA, #EO13469 and EU Council Resolutions on ZDI, apply to the government, municipalities, parastatals, financial institutions, businesses, investors and anyone doing business with the above or materially assisting them.

This means, these sanctions collectively punish civilians by denying businesses, financial institutions and government that serves them, loans, payment clearances, banking relationships, services, products, software, technology and logistics required to provide healthcare, economic development, jobs, clean water and social welfare for citizens.

2. Additionally, he mentioned that Zimbabwe has not built any new hospital theaters since 1978 and that it costs $30,000 to establish a hospital operating theatre. Both these facts are not true as in April 2021, #StanbicBank, spent $2 million refurbishing a theatre at Sally Mugabe Hospital, along with an additional $37,000 worth of theater equipment it supplied to supplement existing equipment. This put the cost of refurbishing a theatre, not building a new one, at over $2.037 million.

It’s worth noting that many hospitals have been built with theaters in Zimbabwe since 1980. Recently, the Zimbabwean government completed the Lupane hospital, which includes brand new theaters.

3. He also claimed that the collapse of the Zimbabwean healthcare system was due to corruption rather than sanctions. However, the UNHRC #AHRC5133Add2 report which was released last year at the UN General Assembly, states that sanctions have reduced Zimbabwe’s healthcare budget from 10.8% to 7%, leading to a foreseeable reduction in investment in hospital and clinic construction in the country since 2001.

Additionally, a reduction in tax revenue, loans, payment blockades and restrictions on technology transfer, have made it challenging for the government to retain professional staff; purchase medicines; acquire machinery, equipment and software.

4. Furthermore, he falsely asserted that 70% of women that give birth at Musina Hospitals in South Africa were from Zimbabwe. From where does he get those statistics which keep the numbers of Zimbabweans giving birth in Musina hospitals at a constant 70% in every single interview he has done over the past 48 months?

5. Hopewell repeatedly criticizes the South African President, who is armed with the UN report and the South African government’s DIRCO report on Zimbabwean sanctions, to support his call for the removal of sanctions that the UN labeled as illegal and said were violating civilian human rights.

The reason Hopewell continues to spread false information about Zimbabwe and its sanctions, is to misinform the South African people, to divide the two nations by inciting hatred and xenophobia upon Zimbabweans in South Africa.

So why is our government not protecting Zimbabweans by arresting Hopewell for disseminating disinformation and falsehoods against our country and its nationals, knowing that he is lying to damage the national image and interests, in violation of section 22(A) (4) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Act?

Last year, we filed a complaint against SABC with the BCCSA (Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa) for bias, falsehoods and misinformation by Hopewell. However, the Chairman of the BCCSA tribunal ruled fraudulently against us and demanded that we pay R25,000 to appeal her fraudulent decision.

The propaganda war is clearly stacked against us, and we expect our government to take a more proactive stance in protecting the national interests of our nation before our relationship with our neighbors is damaged by lies and malicious propaganda. Why make laws if we are not going to use them?

By Rutendo Matinyarare, Chairman of ZASM.

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