Zimbabweans across the country commemorated the Sadc-initiated Anti-Sanctions Day by holding peaceful demonstrations denouncing the embargoes imposed by some Western countries against Zimbabwe.
Yesterday’s demonstration was in line with the decision by the regional bloc — Sadc — which set aside October 25 of every year to call for the removal of the illegal sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union in the early 2000.
The sanctions were imposed after Zimbabwe embarked on the land reform aimed at correcting historical land imbalances which saw a few minority whites owning large tracts of land at the expense of the majority black Zimbabweans.
People in Manicaland province held a solidarity march to call for the removal of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe. Events were held in Mutare, Rusape, Chimanimani and Chipinge under the theme: “Friend to All, Enemy to None: Forging Ahead and Enhancing Innovation and Productivity in Adversity of Sanctions” as the province spoke with one voice in a loud, unequivocal chorus.
In Chimanimani, people marched with placards denouncing the sanctions. Some of the placards read “Remove sanctions,” “Pasi Nemasanctions” and “Do not politicise Cyclone Idai”.
In Mutare, the procession marched down Herbert Chitepo Street and gathered at Meikles Park where speakers took turns to denounce the embargoes, which have caused untold suffering to the majority of Zimbabweans.
In a speech read on his behalf by Zanu PF Manicaland Province acting secretary for administration, Cde Misheck Mugadza, the party’s provincial chairman, Cde Mike Madiro, said it was a fallacy to think of the sanctions as being targeted.
“As the people of Manicaland, we are strongly calling for the unconditional removal of these illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe,” said Cde Madiro.
In Hwedza district, Mashonaland East province people marched to the business centre from the district development coordinator’s offices.
Addressing the procession in Hwedza, Youth Business League founder Mr McNorman Chitongo highlighted that Zimbabwe’s inability to access capital loans and it’s alienation from Western financial markets has cost the nation billions in revenue.
Legal practitioner Advocate Itai Ndudzo unpacked the import of the sanctions with regards to the land acquisition programme at the turn of the century.
In Matabeleland South, the main event was held in Gwanda where the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Abednico Ncube led about 1 500 on a march from Caltex Service Station to Greenland Shopping Complex.
The group went around major roads linking the many high-density suburbs where Cde Ncube made his address and emphasised on the need for people to register to vote in the next harmonised elections.
He also bemoaned the effects of the illegal sanctions, which he said were an impediment to many economic and infrastructure development initiatives in the province and countrywide.
Ordinary persons in Chinhoyi and the rest of Mashonaland West joined the rest of the nation and region in marching against illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
Among those who marched were vendors, journalists, and representatives of business organisations, student unions, political parties and affiliated groups.
Speaking on the sidelines of the march, James Juru, an informal trader, implored everyone to join the cause which has since been supported by all Sadc member states.
Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services officials led the march, which was highly supported.
Scores of people in Bindura marched against the illegal sanctions which are hitting hard on the ordinary people which include the youths.
Speaking on the sidelines of the march, youth leader and son to the late national hero Border Gezi, Cde Michael Gezi, said it is time that the sanctions must go as they are not hurting the “targeted” people but are affecting ordinary Zimbabweans.
“Sanctions are affecting various facets of our lives including the health sector as Government cannot stock enough medication in our hospitals,” said Mr Gezi.
Most companies are not functioning at full capacity as they are on the sanctions list and cannot access offshore credit lines to buy raw materials, resulting in job losses.