Harare(New Ziana)-Thousands of Zimbabweans on Friday marked the inaugural anti- sanctions day by marching in a bid to put pressure on the European Union and the United States to lift the sanctions imposed on Harare.
At its annual meeting in Tanzania in August this year the Southern African Development Community (SADC) agreed to collectively lobby for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and designated October 25 as the day when each member country will carry out activities to denounce the sanctions.
The Zimbabwe government then declared 25 October 25, 2019 a public holiday to mark SADC’s solidarity against illegal Western sanctions on the country.
In Harare, the march commenced at the Robert Mugabe Square with First Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa leading the procession all the way to the National Sports Stadium, about five kilometres from the Central Business District.
At the National Sports Stadium, President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to deliver a key note address.
In Bulawayo, residents were marching from three points to the White City Stadium where several events were lined up.
In the Midlands province, scores of people gathered at Gweru Sports Club where they started marching to Mkoba Stadium for the main provincial event.
In Beitbridge, Zanu PF secretary for administration Dr Obert Mpofu and Minister of State for Matabeleland South Abednico Ncube and local Member of Parliament for the area crossed to South Africa to collect the ANC delegation led by secretary general Ace Magashule.
The ANC is joining Zimbabwe for the anti- sanctions event at Dulivhadzimu stadium.
Acting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Prof Amon Murwira said the message sent by the marching population was clear that Zimbabweans wanted sanctions gone.
“Let’s march and declare to the world and show that sanctions are real, causing untold suffering to every Zimbabwean. We shall march and tell the world, enough is enough, sanctions must go. “We have not come to insult anyone; we have come to demand just treatment. The people of Zimbabwe know that we cannot eliminate the injustice of sanctions by insulting,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Defense and War Veterans Victor Matemadanda said the march proved that Zimbabweans did not want sanctions to remain.
“It means Zimbabwe is fighting against sanctions. Zimbabwe says sanctions must go; this must be a clear message. You can see people from churches, from all walks of life are saying sanctions must go and indeed they must go,” he said.
Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa commended SADC’s resolve to collectively denounce sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“We need this albatross removed. The sanctions are illegal. Truly sanctions are a weapon of mass destruction,” she said.
Various activities will be held across SADC on the day to call for the lifting of the embargo, which has cost the country an estimated US$100 billion since they were imposed over two decades ago.