Thursday, March 03, 2011

(HERALD) Thousands denounce sanctions

Thousands denounce sanctions
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:20
By Peter Matambanadzo and Farirai Machivenyika

Thousands of Zimbabweans yesterday converged at the Harare Exhibition Park's open car park to publicly affirm their opposition to the illegal Western sanctions on the country.

The multitudes - clad in party and church regalia - started arriving at the venue as early as 7am to witness President Mugabe launch the National Anti-Sanctions Petition Campaign.

The young and the old, some wearing T-shirts emblazoned with anti-sanctions messages, sang revolutionary songs and denounced the embargo.

Some of them carried placards with solidarity messages that read "Pasi nesvetasimba", "We say no to sanctions", "Sanctions are evil" and "Do away with sanctions".

The lively gathering is the biggest statement yet that the generality of Zimbabweans are opposed to sanctions.

Asked what had brought them out in such huge numbers, individuals said they were fed up with claims that the sanctions were targeted and did not hurt the economy.

Mr Cleoephas Charandura of Highfield said: "The sanctions have never been targeted at all, that is why you see all these people here.
"They have been affected by the sanctions and want them gone.

"It is disturbing that (MDC-T leader Morgan) Tsvangirai and his party boycotted the event and it is now clear that they support the suffering of Zimbabweans."

Mrs Beatrice Zengwe from Chikomba said the illegal sanctions had destroyed Zimbabwe's economy.

"The sanctions have affected us greatly that is why I am here to condemn them.

"We are failing to provide for our families or even send our children to school because of these sanctions.

"Every Zimbabwean should sign this petition if they have the interests of the country at heart.

"The behaviour of the MDC-T leadership confirms that they want Zimbabweans to suffer for their selfish interests."

Mrs Chipo Mabvuta of Chikore, Manicaland, said sanctions affected their livelihoods so much that rural folk could not send their children to school.

"We cannot make ends meet because of the sanctions.
"Some of us depend on farming but we are failing to obtain inputs because of these sanctions and this has resulted in the hunger we have experienced in the past.

"I expected all our leaders to come out and condemn the sanctions because that is what they agreed (in the Global Political Agreement)," she said.

Mr Spencer Mabheka from Mabelreign, Harare added: "We want to remove the myth that the sanctions are targeted at few individuals.
"They are not. They are meant to foment illegal regime change.
"We came here to show that we support President Mugabe and his leadership and that the sanctions will not deter us from reclaiming our resources and heritage."

Diplomats, Government officials, service chiefs, traditional leaders, business leaders, men and women of the cloth, trade unionists, students and informal traders joined ordinary Zimbabweans at yesterday's declaration of opposition to sanctions.

President Mugabe's arrival at around 11:15am was marked with rapturous applause.

Waving his trademark fist, the President went around the crowd to greet the people as a swarm of journalists tried to keep pace with him.

Musician Sekuru Gweshe and the Police Band matched the high tempo with performances to suit the occasion.

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