ALL Zimbabweans, regardless of political affiliation, should on October 25 stand up and demand the unconditional removal of the unjust economic sanctions that have bled the country of billions and caused unnecessary suffering, leaders of opposition parties have said.
Ahead of the SADC Anti-Sanctions Solidarity Day, leaders of political parties like the MDC-T that once supported the unjust sanctions, have apparently seen the light and have vowed to take the word to Western capitals that still maintain the immoral sanctions imposed to effect regime change in Zimbabwe by the United States and her allies at the turn of the millennium.
MDC-T acting spokesperson Mr Khaliphani Phugeni, who is also spokesperson of the leader of the opposition in Parliament Dr Thokozani Khupe, said sanctions were hurting the general populace hardest and should therefore be lifted urgently.
“Sanctions are hurting the vulnerable members of society and they are not targeted as claimed.
“We have been told that sanctions are targeted but that is not true.
“Right now I am assisting a blind person in Bulawayo who is failing to put food on the table because of sanctions. We are expecting all Zimbabweans to call for the removal of sanctions,” he said.
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku said anti-sanctions commemorations set for October 25 provided Zimbabweans to speak with one voice for the removal of the illegal sanctions that breach international statutes.
“It is about saying that sanctions hurt all Zimbabweans regardless of religious or political persuasion. We use the day to remind the world that we have weaknesses as a country but sanctions are not the best way of seeking to correct us,” Professor Madhuku.
Zimbabwe Partnership (ZIP) leader Mr Innocent Netanyau said the Anti-Sanctions day provides an avenue for Zimbabweans to unite in accordance with the Constitution “which provides every person, including juristic persons (Political parties), and every institution (Political Actors Dialogue) and agency of government at every level, must promote national unity, peace and stability. National unity is fundamental to withstand any threat to our sovereignty.
“We are sending a clear message to the United States of America and friends that Zimbabwe remains a unitary, democratic and sovereign nation despite our multi-party democracy”.
On international re-engagement, Mr Netanyau said it was being undertaken from a position of strength and not of weakness and in the spirit of peaceful co-existence with other nations and a commitment to resolving international disputes by peaceful means.
“We are aware that the economic warfare sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were unilaterally imposed and are in violation of the United Nations article that provides for the respect of the sovereignty of nations and their rights to self-determination. As such we insist on the unconditional removal of these sanctions.
“ Polad has a committee on international re-engagement and this is a committee specific on the impact of sanctions on all the sectors of the Zimbabwe economy,” he said.
The New Patriotic Front (NPF) leader Mr Welcome Shumba said the day is for sincere and patriotic politicians from the ruling party and opposition parties to set aside their political differences and speak in solidarity against the US’s unilaterally imposed sanctions and their impact on the socio-economic status of Zimbabwe.
He said Zimbabwe had implemented an array of political and legal reforms, that include the repeal of certain laws and their replacement with progressive pieces of legislation.
“We applaud the SADC region and the Government of Zimbabwe for these progressive political reforms and at the same time rebuke and implore on the hypocrisy of the United States of America for not taking note of our improved and maturing democracy.
“The sanctions have been imposed because of some unpatriotic opposition political parties like the MDC-A which fronts imperialist agencies” said Mr Shumba.
African leaders from Cape to Cairo have been unequivocal in their united call for the removal of the unjust sanctions which have cost Zimbabwe more billions of dollars as the country had to go it alone without access to financial loans and other budgetary support.
In Zimbabwe, the commemoration of the Anti-Sanctions Day will culminate in the hosting of a music gala to be graced by an array of artistes. Organisers of the gala said the venue is likely to be outside Harare. The idea behind hosting the gala outside the capital is meant to ensure that the anti-sanctions message cascades to the grassroots.