Sanctions not the answer

The UK wants to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe, but this is not a solution to the current political crisis.

The UK wants to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe, but this is not a solution to the current political crisis.

The call for disinvestment will do more harm than good and the people who will be adversely affected by the sanctions will be the poor and the unemployed.

The current high levels of unemployment will only escalate if further sanctions are imposed in Zimbabwe.

Furthermore, this will have regional ramifications as an influx of people from Zimbabwe will stream into South Africa in search of better opportunities. This in turn will create fierce competition for scarce resources with local citizens.

The international community must not fool itself into thinking that economic sanctions will lead to the regime's demise. Normally, authoritarian regimes have a life of their own and endure for a long time.

Political systems have a way of mutating and adapting to a new environment. A classical example is Mobutu Sese Seko, whose regime lasted almost 32 years. Daniel arap Moi ruled Kenya for almost 32 years and Mugabe, who despite heavy sanctions and criticism, has ruled Zimbabwe for 28 years.

Autocrats did not and will not fall from power because of sanctions. Some were overthrown while others stepped down.

The MDC must know that as long as the regime is in control of the coercive apparatus, there is nothing it can do because the security forces remain one of the regime's backbone.

It is very important that the MDC remains patient when trying to find solutions in Zimbabwe.

Sanctions will not yield quick results.

Lucky Ledwaba, Pretoria

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