Friday, March 18, 2011
War vets out against US ambassador
Friday, 18 March 2011 00:00
Demonstrators hold anti-sanctions placards and banners at Mupfure College in Chegutu yesterday, where US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray had come to donate textbooks.
A group of war veterans yesterday demonstrated against the illegal Western sanctions against Zimbabwe during the handover of textbooks to Mupfure Self-Help College by Washington's Ambassador in Harare Charles Ray.
Cde Shadreck Dzepasi, the Chegutu District chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, said America's handouts were meant to mask the effects of the illegal sanctions.
"We came here to make a clear message to the US Ambassador that we have illegal sanctions in the country and we want them removed.
"All these donations are not genuine because how can they tighten screws on one side and on the other side seem to be loosening them?
"If these sanctions persist then we might not welcome them into our areas in future because we believe these donations are not genuine," he said.
The war veterans were clad in T-Shirts denouncing the illegal embargo and urging Zimbabweans and other progressive individuals and institutions to sign the National Anti-Sanctions Petition recently launched by President Mugabe.
Cde Dzepasi said it was ironic that Ambassador Ray had made the donation soon after the US had extended its illegal embargo by another year.
US President Barak Obama last week extended the widely-discredited embargo by another year, citing alleged human rights violations.
Another war veteran, Cde Charles Gurure, said Britain had induced the US to impose sanctions.
"Our dispute is with the British over the land reform exercise we embarked on and do we do not see why the US has joined in by imposing illegal sanctions on us.
"We were saying no to the illegal sanctions as said by President Mugabe," Cde Gurure said.
In an interview, Ambassador Ray said: "I was not here to talk to them; my reason to be here was educational."
He handed over books worth more than US$1 000 to the college that was established to assist ex-combatants, ex-refugees and school dropouts with vocational training.