White lobby group denies links with ZANU PF

Gary Smith explains the Zimbabweans Against Sanctions position

BY Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
19 February 2014

The chairperson of newly-formed ‘Zimbabweans Against Sanctions’ lobby group has denied any links with the ruling ZANU PF party.

Mathew Smith, his father Gary and former cricketer Heath Streak, announced the formation of the anti-sanctions group in Harare on Monday.

The group has attracted divided opinion, with many Zimbabweans saying the group is seeking to enamour itself to ZANU PF in order to benefit from the regime’s patronage system.

ZANU PF has already commended the group for “rallying behind President Robert Mugabe” and for speaking against the restrictive measures.

Smith said this was to be expected “because for the first time we have something that we can agree on and the lifting of sanctions affects them more than us, but it does not mean that we are affiliated to them.”

“We are however glad that ZANU PF has come out to support us. We are a completely apolitical group whose main concern is that sanctions are real and are hurting Zimbabweans,” he added.

Smith said his father’s business interests are only in the mining sector, where he is as a director.

“We have operated a contract mining firm in Zimbabwe for the past 20 years and none of the mines we are involved with have any links to ZANU PF. Anyone is free to come and check, we have nothing to hide,” Smith added.

He said none of their mining activities involved diamonds.

Smith insisted that the targeted sanctions were bad for the country, and that the group they had received a lot of support from across the political divide.

“It is a misconception that the (targeted) sanctions were imposed on just a few people because if you check the American ZIDERA (Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act) it imposes blanket economic sanctions,” he said.

Earlier this week however, US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton said the US targeted sanctions programme seeks to limit the economic activities of a very small number of individuals and entities (113 and 70 respectively) who, “have shown a willful disregard for the rule of law, democratic process, and human rights in Zimbabwe.”

Wharton said everyone else was free to import, export and do business with US firms.

The EU this week suspended restrictions against all ZANU PF members who were on their list, except Mugabe and his wife grace and arms dealer the Zimbabwe Defence Industries.



11 Responsesto “White lobby group denies links with ZANU PF”

  1. wilbert says:

    What is disappointing about this white-group supporting Mugabe is that none of these individuals give a damn about the suffering black masses. They want the sanctions lifted not because they believe for a minute that the sanctions are cause of the country’s economic melt-down. They know that it was the gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and all-out looting spree by Mugabe and his cronies that have done that.

    They are coming out and publicly supporting the Mugabe’s regime position calling for the lifting of the sanctions to buy themselves favours with the regime. There are no different from these Nikuv Jews who helped Mugabe rid the July 2013 elections.

    These white are racists; before independence they supported the white racist regime with their very lives and since then they have supported the Mugabe dictatorship for personal gain. They really do not give a damn about long suffering of the black majority. If they did, then how can they pretend not to see that the fight for economic and political rights is at the very heart of the imposed sanctions. The freedoms and rights systematically denied them by this Mugabe dictatorship and Ian Smith racist regime before that!

  2. mike hondo says:

    Myself as a white person cannot support the this new party and i dont know any other people that support this newly formed group of three people, sanctions must stay, until i hear good evidence for them to be lifted. Some whites are sellouts and money grabbing fools just like in any other culture.

    • Roland Pollard says:

      You need good evidence?..how about the 13 odd million people left in Zimbabwe that dont care about politics, dont care about who is in power, who rules the country..they just want to crack on and live….are you suggesting you condem every one just because you dont like Zanu and Mugabe…you complain about rigged elections, you emphatically state that they were not elected from the will of the people, but then insist that all those people who never chose Mugabe get punished under those sanction? And dont start that there is no sanctions on Zim, do you yourself a favour and read the ZDERA Act you moron….

      • mike hondo says:

        well just crack on and live then ! the targeted sanctions are against people who deny the 13 million their human rites , im sorry that you feel sanctioned too perhaps you could tell me how these sanctions have affected you? i have visited zim and i saw no evidence that sanctions were affecting daily life.

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Oh, no no no my gosh Aah, as a white person, you can not support this new party for whites in Zimbabwe. And you say some whites are sell-outs and money grabbing fools just like you. What do you really mean, Mike? Am I missing something here, Mike Hondo?

      Oh my God, that explains why I have always argued that these white boys never went to school as their parents coerced them to work on stolen farms at the expense of their education. The end result is there for all to see. They can not articulate their views clearly to be understood by the world. They are scattered all over the globe doing manual labour because all they knew was to grow tobacco, beans, nuts, potatoes and very little bananas, soya beans and sugar cane. They are all now troubled and do not know what to do when their friends still in Zimbabwe have come out in full support of the Mugabe government in calling for the complete removal of the illegal economic sanctions by the European Union. They all think they have been betrayed by their friends in Zimbabwe and I wonder what their fight is all about as Zimbabwe has never been their country of origin but which their ancestors occupied through bribery and subterfuge.

      Well, Mike Hondo should understand that theirs has been a lost cause for a very long period indeed. All rhodies reached a point of no return in 1980 and it is completely over in this 21st century. It is zero, zilch or nada.

      • mike hondo says:

        I can not support any party that i think is barking mad , be it of any colour sanctions must stay because i dont want to deal with crooks and thieves who are looting the country namely zanu pf and their eastern masters, i just wonder what the point is of this minority party is as the white population can not influence anything politically

  3. Mike Rook says:

    What have we here – a divisive all white Zim version of a Rumble in the Jungle? In the red corner is the chairperson of the newly-formed ‘Zimbabweans Against Sanctions’ lobby Matthew Smith. In the blue corner is Mike Campbell of the Mike Campbell foundation, an organisation specializing in helping Zim torture victims. The referee and judges are from the EU. With Campbell ahead on points the referee stops the fight, and the EU judges amazingly score in favor of Smith (that name rings a bell). A Pyrrhic victory for the previously unheard of political pugilist. As the president has a penchant for rewarding those who fight in his corner Matthew Smith should soon be expecting a cheque in the post, and a certificate of no Interest in his mining ventures.

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Well, call it divisive but the majority of Zimbabwean really do not care what these white guys in this country are talking about at this last hour. You can fight among yourselves over this matter but that does not change the perceptions of what you white guys are in real life. You have been what you have been for centuries and you should keep it that way if it serves your interests but in Zimbabwe that will not succeed. You have been losers and failures from day one since 1980. You should always keep this at the back of your mind/thick skull, mate. No love lost mate but its a fact of life that none of you guys can change, no matter what. Ok?

  4. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    Well, this is pure face saving by the white guys owning and controlling businesses in Zimbabwe. Of course, these guys are hypocrites who have been waiting on the sides without voicing their disapproval to the United States State Department and the European Union that there were economic sanctions that were hurting the country. That they now talk about it as if it never existed is pure hypocrisy and should not be allowed to benefit from it. It is too little too late to come to the support of Zimbabwe at the last hour when it is all clear that the European Union has already indicated its intention of removing all obstacles that foster sound economic ties with Zimbabwe. We should not be hoodwinked and cheated by these guys who always think they are too clever. The European Union has already made its decision and for anyone to attempt to hijack this process is unacceptable by any standard.

  5. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    Well, this is pure hypocrisy and face saving by the white guys owning and controlling businesses in Zimbabwe. Of course, these guy are pretending to have virtues, morals and religious believes or principles which they do not have at all. For donkey years they have been waiting on the side lines without uttering or voicing their disapproval to the US State Department and the European Union economic sanctions that were hurting the country. That they now talk about it now as if economic sanctions against Zimbabwe never existed is pure hypocrisy and should not be allowed to benefit from it. It is too little too late to come to the support of Zimbabwe at the last hour when it is all clear that the European Union has already indicated its intention of removing all obstacles that foster sound economic ties with Zimbabwe. We should not be hoodwinked and cheated by these guys who always think they are too clever. The European Union has already made its decision and for anyone to attempt to hijack this process is unacceptable by any standard.

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