I am sitting here reading Eddie Cross’ article titled “Eddie Cross On The New Sanctions On Zimbabwe,” and I can’t believe the amount of misinformation and ignorance in the article.

Reading the article, I am struggling to accept that the man who wrote it was once an advisor to our President because his analysis on the sanctions is incompetent and quite frankly childish.

One of the comments that drove me off the edge is Eddie saying that the removal of the executive order sanctions on Zimbabwe has not made much of a difference because by ZDERA remaining, US Directors voting against the Zimbabwean government being given loans or debt cancellation by multilateral lending organizations, hinders international banking and corresponding banking relationships.

How on earth does Eddie reach such an awkward conclusion? The fact is correspondent banks did not cancel their corresponding banking relations with Zimbabwe due to ZDERA; hence we did not see the major loss of these relationships after 2001 when ZDERA was imposed and before 2008 when the executive order sanctions on Zimbabwe, not target individuals, were imposed.

The reason for this is it is the executive order sanctions that were empowered by IEEPA (the International Emergency Economic Powers Act) and the “Zimbabwe Sanctions Program” prescripts that led to banks derisking and hesitating to do business with Zimbabwe, for fear of penalties, and below is how it works.

After the declaration of the third national emergency on Zimbabwe by the US President George Bush in 2008, which stipulated that Zimbabwe was an unusual and extraordinary threat to US economic, foreign policy, and security interests. The U.S. President by declaring Zimbabwe a threat and by deduction an enemy of America, was enjoined by the NEA (National Emergency Act) to select a suitable weapon to neutralize the nation threat he had identified. This weapon would also have to ensure that Americans, allies and those wanting to do business with America, would not give economic assistance to that identified nation enemy. At his disposal were only two options: economic weapons or military weapons.

The President chose the economic weapon, which comes in the form of the IEEPA (International Emergency Economic Powers Act).

As denoted in its title, IEEPA is a Title 50 “war” and “defense” instrument, which prescribes what the US President must do economically to not assist a foe and to neutralize the identified threat through economic means.

Mind you, this same instrument is used alongside military action when the U.S. President declares war too on a nation. This is how serious the executive order sanctions that are being trivialized here, are. They are a weapon of war, tailored to withdraw all economic assistance and starve a nation and persons that threaten US security. This is why I am struggling to understand how Eddie Cross and most analysts who are talking about the removal of the executive orders sanctions and trying so hard to trivialize their removal.

Additionally, IEEPA is prescriptive on what the U.S. President MUST do the moment he designates a nation a threat to US interests.

He must investigate, regulate, and prohibit:

1. any transaction in foreign exchange,
2. transfers of credit or payments between, by, though, or to any banking institution, to the extent that such transfers or payments involve any interest of any foreign country or a national thereof,
3. the importing or exporting of currency or securities, by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States;
4. the acquisition, withdrawing, withholding, management, transportation, or transactions of property from the nation identified as a threat.

The above actions are automatic, but in Zimbabwe’s case, additional terms were then added by the EO13469 executive order sanctions that emanated from the national emergency declaration, which brought to life IEEPA.

These sanctions were regulated by unique terms of the “Zimbabwe Sanctions Program” document that put sanctions directly upon the government of Zimbabwe, yet it was never on the sanctions list.

For example, on point II “Overview Of Authorities”, under bullet point two, they express that under these EO13469 executive order sanctions, are the government of Zimbabwe, its companies, parastatals and those who do business with them, and furthermore, their properties in America and allied countries are blocked.

On bullet point seven of the same heading, it says that, also under these executive order sanctions, EO13469, are anyone who has materially assisted, sponsored, provided financial, material, technical support, software, technology and logistics to the government of Zimbabwe, while a clause elsewhere includes companies owned by that government. In our reading and understanding, these sanctions tacitly encompassed everyone in Zimbabwe who pays tax and provides services or assistance to the government.

So, it’s clear from these sanctions that anyone in the world was prohibited from doing the above activities with the government of Zimbabwe, its state-owned enterprises, and by logical conclusion, its ministries and municipalities.

Under point III “Prohibited Transactions”, the program went on to expressly prohibit transferring money, paying, exporting, or dealing with the property of individuals listed above.

It is clear that from these clauses, is where the restrictions that discouraged the banks from undertaking transactions with the government of Zimbabwe, its parastatals, local government and those on the sanctions list and those who do business with them, came from.

With banks charting the murky waters of who was tainted by these sanctions and in an era when the USA PATRIOT ACT and FATF guidelines were being manipulated by the U.S. to internationalize their illegal unilateral sanctions, the banks chose to cut corresponding banking relationships with Zimbabwean banks to avoid suffering reputational risk.

And to prove my point, from the time ZDERA was imposed in 2001, we never lost any corresponding banking relationships up until 2008 when George Bush declared his last executive order sanctions, EO13469, and included the above clauses, and only then we saw corresponding banking relationships breaking.

Even then, not many banks left until 2014 when the United States began to penalize the likes of Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Bank and CBZ for undertaking Zimbabwean government and parastatal transactions, that banks began to abscond Zimbabwe. I am still wondering how this could be activated by the terms of ZDERA.

Not only did banking relationships fold then, but we also saw the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe having its accounts with foreign central banks and commercial banks being closed, illustrating that the executive order sanctions were now taking their toll.

It also goes without saying that ZDERA is no close to being as punitive as the “war” and “defense” executive order sanctions the U.S. President imposed pursuant to the declaration of something as serious as a national emergency (state of emergency). Moreover, ZDERA is not a war and defense sanction. It is a sanction created by members of parliament and not the executive or commander in chief of the superpower United States.

I am disappointed that someone like Eddie Cross would get it so wrong and write a misleading article filled with falsehoods, when he led the well-resourced business reengagement delegation that was tasked with going to the states, on numerous occasions, to negotiate the removal of sanctions.

However, if the head of the business negotiation team doesn’t understand the sanctions he was negotiating, to a point of writing blatant misinformation in his article, then just what exactly was the team negotiating?

Not only that, but Eddie was also the President’s advisor at some point, so what kind of advice was he giving the President if he can be so brazenly incompetent about sanctions to this extent? What else was he incompetent about?

No wonder the business team and reengagement team negotiations, resulted in the President, his VP, the First Lady, several government officials and key business people ending up on the Magnitsky sanctions because they chose the ill-informed strategy of negotiating with the Americans instead of speaking the only language they understand: rule of law and taking legal action against the illegal measures.

I won’t even go into examining Eddie’s praise of the United States government as a bringer of democracy to the world, when in their own country, America remains a colony of Anglo Saxons who are depriving American Indians of their freedom and land, and denying black Americans their reparations, in contravention of the UN Decolonization Declaration of 1960 and the Native Convention.

Then there is the issue of a democracy that has invaded over six nations over the last twenty-three years, killing women and children, leaving over three million dead and four failed nations spewing refugees all across the world. All this to satisfy the American desire for resources that they don’t want to pay fair value for.

Eddie is ever looking for opportunities to elevate Western and white culture over black culture, [Western culture] which we all know is a culture of murder, genocide, dictatorship, imperialism, theft, and racism, not democracy. This is why now he can’t accept that by having executive order sanctions removed, Zimbabwe, unlike Rhodesia, has successfully beaten 23 years of stringent sanctions, yet Rhodesia fell within just 13 years of sanctions.

The bigoted man can’t handle this reality because for years, he pontificated about how Rhodesian sanctions were more stringent than Zimbabwean sanctions. Yet, we all know that the entire Western world conspired to help Rhodesians circumvent those sanctions, to maintain white rule in Rhodesia. But despite that, the incompetent Smith regime failed to break sanctions and was overthrown 13 years later by a very angry majority.

Across the Limpopo, the much-claimed apartheid government, fell in just six years of sanctions, but Zimbabwe has survived for 23 years of stringent Western sanctions and has eventually beaten the sanctions without war or revolts. Jingoists like Cross are dashed to see Africans achieving such a feat.

This is why now, Eddie and others like him, are foaming at the mouth trying to trivialize the success achieved by black activists and lawyers who proposed and executed the strategy of multilateralizing the fight against sanctions, galvanizing regional support for Zimbabwe and condemnation for American sanctions and then augmenting that with legal action in the most relevant economy in Africa, before going to the International Court of Justice.

Not many are happy that the strategy written by ZUAUWS/ZASM and then plagiarized by many senior government officials who presented the ideas to government as their own, has succeeded so monumentally. And it has done so with those who wrote and executed the critical elements of the strategy, being sabotaged, remaining recognized, and not being resourced like the business lobby and reengagement protagonists.

I say to Eddie, your strategy and that of reengagement supporters, of paying Western lobbyists millions and begging the enemy for forgiveness, failed! Meanwhile and the strategy of compulsion by multilateralism, regional and legal pressure, that was devised by young lawyers, marketers and activists, succeeded phenomenally without costing government a cent.

In fact, reengagement ended up getting the President, his vice, First Lady, other government officials and our leading business people, sanctioned because the protagonists of the strategy failed to advance a rule-based order approach to deter the Americans punishing our President by sanctions without trial.

And if anyone has a doubt as to what pushed the Americans to remove their sanctions, I say speak to the Congress Legal and Counterterrorism advisor, Johanna Le Blanc, and find out the things that happened behind the scenes with our organization, to coerce the Americans to remove sanctions that were collectively punishing civilians in what was a crime against humanity.

To Eddie Cross and all other unqualified analysts talking about ZDERA, executive order sanctions, and purporting that the removal of “war” and “defense” sanctions was a non-event. I urge you to put in your 10,000 hours of studying ZDERA, the National Emergency Act, IEEPA, the USA PATRIOT ACT, FATF guidelines and the Zimbabwe Sanction Program to learn about these sanctions, so that you stop misleading people.

99% of Zimbabwe sanctions are gone and the Magnitsky sanctions on the eleven senior people can be removed easily via legal petitions or lawsuits by lawyers like the team that pushed for the removal of CBZ penalties. If you want a bet, let’s see the performance of the Zimbabwean economy over the next nine months as companies and government begin to retool, export, and receive payments without a fuss.

Written by Rutendo Matinyarare, Chairman of ZASM.

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