Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Industrialists have described Sadc countries’ decision to declare October 25 this year as solidarity day against illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe as historic.
They also requested the day to be declared a holiday to allow effective co-ordination of the various activities that would be lined up.
Representatives from industry said the solidarity shown by the regional bloc would constitute President Mnangagwa’s legacy, since the decision was taken during his tenure.
In a recent interview, Zimbabwe National Business Council president Mr Langton Mabhanga said it was critical that the region had realised that it was under siege, together with Africa, due to the sanctions.
“Sadc’s decision is plausible and historic,” he said.
“We have now been vindicated as a country that the Third Force is at work.
“Our economic trajectory has been under siege because of sanctions.
“Our call to President Mnangagwa as business is that October 25 this year must be a public holiday so that there is effective coordination of activities nationally and regionally.”
Mr Mabhanga said sanctions had the potential to scuttle Government’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI) immediate past president, Mr Sifelani Jabangwe, said as industry they were on record saying sanctions were hurting ordinary persons and not the people the West claimed were the targets.
He said industry welcomed the decision by Sadc to come in full support of Zimbabwe in its fight against sanctions.
“We believe that they must remove sanctions and that would be good for business,” said Mr Jabangwe. “We will be able to access finance and get investment. The call by Sadc for the West to remove sanctions is quite noble, we are quite humbled.”
Another industrialist said there was need for Sadc to come up with reciprocal measures against the West to counter their sanctions.
“Firstly, Sadc and the African Union should be quite vocal in denouncing the sanctions during the forthcoming United Nations General Assembly to be held in New York and impress upon the global body to have them removed,” said the industrialist who preferred not to be named.
“Secondly, if that is not heeded, as a continent we need to come up with measures to counter them, one of which is to escalate our engagement with the East such as China and Russia which has demonstrated goodwill in working with us.”
During the summit held recently in Dar es Salaam, Sadc summit comprising Heads of State and Governments tasked the secretariat to escalate the lobby with the African Union chairperson, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who will be expected to raise the issue at the upcoming 74th United Nations General Assembly in September.