Religious leaders join sanctions removal call Elders Council chairman Bishop Felix Mukonowengwe (right) addresses media on the anti-sanctions day flanked by Reverend Dr Murombedzi Kuchera (centre) and Father Emmanuel Ribeiro in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Tawanda Mudimu.

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
A group of religious leaders under the banner of the National Elders Forum (NEF) has joined calls for the removal of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe ahead of October 25 which was declared by SADC as a day to protest against the embargo.

Addressing a Press conference yesterday, the elders lauded the decision by Sadc to designate the day  to show the region’s solidarity with Zimbabwe in its fight against the sanctions.

“Sanctions have been a killer in our country and as the elders we see their effect every day,” said Bishop Felix Mukonowengwe, the chairperson of the NEF.

“We can’t go into detail, but people have died because of lack of medicine in hospitals, while others have died because of lack of transport to take them to hospitals.”

Dr Murombedzi Kuchera said the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were unjustified as they were a response to Zimbabweans’ right to reclaim their land.

“We took what is rightfully ours, the land is ours and we don’t need to compensate anyone,” he said.

“We did not take the land from the whites, that land is ours. They came here as visitors and conquered us and we fought them, conquered and reclaimed our land.”

Father Emmanuel Ribeiro said the illegal sanctions were a form of war being waged against Zimbabwe.

“Sanctions are a silent, brutal and criminal form of war,” he said.

“They (sanctions) choke you, they disable you and they starve you. Many children have died before they have even seen the sun because of the sanctions.”

Chairman of the Supreme Council of Islamist Affairs in Zimbabwe Sheikh Ismail Duwa said the sanctions were affecting Zimbabweans’ ability to obey God’s commandments.

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