LIVE BLOG: ANTI-SANCTIONS MARCH
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1424: President Mnangagwa has finished his address.
1421: “We have opened up both the economic and political space…the EU has started to gradually remove the sanctions they had imposed.”
The President urges foreign envoys to carry the message of goodwill to their capitals. He thanks Sadc, AU ambassadors and others from progressive nations. He says a Zimbabwe without sanctions is a better partner to other nations.
1413: “The sanctions have perpetuated the cycle of poverty in our country…no amount of propaganda can spin or sugarcoat this gruesome truth,”
1410: “Every part of our country has been affected by these sanctions like a cancer…it clear and undeniable that sanctions were a reaction to the just and necessary action of taking our land…for the avoidance of doubt that programme is not reversible. As the people of Zimbabwe we cannot continue to have our fundamental human rights and dignity trampled upon,”
1406: President Mnangagwa says for nearly 20 years the country has lived with the unbearable burden of sanctions.
“We know very well that sanctions are neither smart or targeted…many of our people have over the years lost loved ones in hospitals due to the impact of sanctions on our health services…our exporters are denied entry into some markets.”
1400: He says the sanctions’ direct and indirect devastating impact have been felt in the region. He says today is the day we say enough is enough. The President says the sanctions must go.
Let it be known that we are united in purpose..our friends and neighbours equally join our cause today. As a nation and as a people we say thank you to Sadc for standing by us…we also say thank you to the African Union and progressive world for supporting us during these difficult years in our nation,”
1352: President Mnangagwa is now on the podium.
1345: Vice President Kembo Mohadi is now on the podium to introduce President Mnangagwa.
1333: University of Zimbabwe Department of Business Studies Professor Albert Makochekanwa said a study they conducted showed that more than US$7billion has been lost in revenue for several firms owing to the existence of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
1222: Chief Charumbira representing traditional leaders says the sanctions were imposed after Zimbabwe embarked on the land reform. He says the liberation war was fought for the land. Chief Charumbira demands that the sanctions be removed.
1203: Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa has called for solidarity messages. the first one is by a representative of Tanzania President and Sadc chairman Dr John Magufuli.
1132: Prof Murwira thanks the support Zimbabwe is receiving from Sadc nations in its quest to have sanctions against the country removed. He says by turning out in their numbers across the country Zimbabweans have shown that they stand behind their Government.
1127: Professor Murwira, as the Master of Ceremony, takes to the podium.
1108: The arrival of President Mnangagwa at the National Sports Stadium marks the beginning of the main proceedings. The National Anthem is now being sung.
1026: In Bulawayo, residents are marching from three points . The first and second groups have already arrived at White City Stadium
1025: Some of the placards read: “Sanctions violates youth Development. Youths are saying no to sanctions”
1021: In the Midlands province, scores of people gathered at Gweru Sports Club and are marching to Mkoba Stadium.
0948: In Beitbridge, Zanu PF secretary for administration Dr Obert Mpofu and Minister of State for Matabeleland South Abednico Ncube and local MPs for Beitbridge have crossed to SA to collect the ANC delegation led by secretary general Ace Magashule. Meanwhile, people are about to start marching from the DA’s office via border post and end at Dulivhadzimu stadium for speeches.
0920: The march has begun and will end at the National Sports Stadium
0908: Addressing the marchers Professor Amon Murwira, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology said, “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 can not eliminate the injust of sanctions by insulting.” Prof Murwira was speaking on behalf of the Minister of foreign affairs
0902: First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has arrived at the Robert Mugabe Square for the march against sanctions. She will join other patriotic citizens and march to the National Sports stadium.
0850: Thousands of people have gathered at Robert Mugabe Square as they prepare to march against the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.