Zimbabweans will on October 25 hold marches throughout the country against illegal sanctions imposed by the West, with Harare hosting the biggest protest that will culminate at the National Sports Stadium where President Mnangagwa is expected to give an address.
After President Mnangagwa’s address, there will be a soccer match between some of the biggest football clubs in the country, and an all-night musical gala where top musicians will perform.
The events follow the declaration of October 25 by SADC as solidarity day against the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, with member states pledging to conduct various activities in their own countries to resoundingly call for the immediate removal of the embargo.
The sanctions have had a devastating effect, not only on Zimbabwe, but on the entire region, as they have disrupted trade and other engagements among the regional States.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo recently revealed in Parliament that Zimbabwe has lost an estimated US$42 billion in revenue because of the illegal sanctions.
The money could have been directed towards the resuscitation of industries to create employment and other programmes aimed at economic revival.
Zimbabwe has always argued that the reasons for the imposition of illegal sanctions no longer exist, especially after the coming in of the new dispensation, and it is time that they are removed to enable the country to move forward without an albatross around its neck.
Director of Media Services in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Dr Anywhere Mutambudzi said yesterday that all was set for the massive protest against the illegal sanctions.
“The march will start at the Africa Unity Square where people from all walks of life are expected to start gathering as early as 6am, they will then embark on the march around 8am heading to the National Sports Stadium,” he said.
“We expect that other people who will not be able to join the march from the city centre will make their way from their areas to the stadium for this important event.”
Dr Mutambudzi said other activities around the anti-sanctions day will include a schools competition in poetry and drama on the theme of the removal of the sanctions.
He said academic papers will also be presented as part of the call against the sanctions.
“We are calling on musicians and artists to join a competition for composing the best anti-sanctions song that will get a prize,” said Dr Mutambudzi.
The illegal sanctions have negatively affected the most vulnerable groups of citizens in particular and the economy in general, giving rise to the need for Zimbabweans from all walks of life to participate in the call for their removal.
The country lost multi-lateral donor support which is estimated at about US$4,5 billion annually since 2001 and US$12 billion in the IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank loans which could have developed infrastructure in the country.