Zimbabweans from all walks of life yesterday took part in the historic anti- sanctions march in different parts of the country. While the main activities were in Harare, there were other marches that were organised in the provinces.
In Bulawayo, residents marched from the robot-controlled intersection in Pelandaba, robot-controlled intersection near Mpopoma High School and robot-controlled intersection near Western Commonage Police Station to White City Stadium as part of the campaign against the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States, UK and their allies.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Judith Ncube, who was accompanied by Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Raji Modi and Zanu-PF Central Committee member and Senator Molly Mpofu, led the march to the venue of the anti-sanctions campaign.
She read the President’s speech. Scores of people, including the town clerk Mr Christopher Dube, the chairperson of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) Justice Sello Nare, service chiefs, war veterans, senior Government officials, students, churches and businesspeople took part in the event.
Speakers drawn from churches, organisations representing students, residents and war veterans, including the business sector, delivered their solidarity messages.
The event was marked by scintillating performances from Bambanani Women’s Dance Group and Snippers, which captivated the audience through their well-choreographed dances, while Amakhosikazi Entuthuko, the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) brass band, captured the mood of the occasion through their soothing music.
In Manicaland, people marched from the city centre to Sakubva Stadium where hundreds gathered to protest against the illegal Western-imposed sanctions that have been suffocating the economy for close to two decades now.
They waved banners condemning the illegal economic embargo. Some of the banners screamed, “Why killing us?”, “Manicaland says no to sanctions”, “sanctions are evil”, “lift sanctions unconditionally”, “Why killing unborn children?” and “sanctions hurting tertiary education in Zimbabwe”.
Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba delivered the President’s speech.
The event was attended by various stakeholders such as war veterans, women, youths, miners, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce representatives, farmers unions, traditional leaders and municipal officials.
In the Midlands Province, people from the province’s eight districts gathered at Gweru Sports Club ground before marching into the central business district along Robert Mugabe Road to Main Street Avenue.
The people, who were led by the Midlands Provincial Minister of State Larry Mavima and Zanu-PF Provincial chairperson Engineer Daniel Mackenzie Ncube, waved placards denouncing the sanctions.
The MSU band, Man Soul Jah, gospel artiste Mai Patai, students, pupils, chiefs and high voltage poets entertained the crowd.
Minister Mavima then read President Mnangagwa’s speech, making the end of the march. Eng Mackenzie Ncube said the fight against sanctions should be an everyday event since the country is socially and economically hamstrung by the embargoes.
In Matabeleland North, people started arriving in Lupane from all the province’s seven districts at 8am. They then marched through residential suburbs to Somhlolo Stadium, where various stakeholders delivered solidarity messages.
Provincial Affairs Minister Richard Moyo then read President’s speech before all attendees were served lunch.
In the afternoon, people were treated to different kinds of entertainment, including soccer matches.
In Matabeleland South, Zanu-PF’s secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu and African National Congress Secretary-General Mr Ace Magashule led the march, which started south of the Limpopo and ended at Dulivhadzimu Stadium in Beitbridge.
The border, which divides the two countries was a sea of yellow, green, red and gold as the crowd made up of both locals and South Africans marched singing revolutionary songs.
Speaking during the procession, Dr Mpofu hailed South Africans for standing by Zimbabwe.
Cde Magashule said his party wholeheartedly supported Sadc’s regional Day of solidarity against sanctions against its neighbour.
In Masvingo a capacity crowd led by the drum majorettes and the army band marched from the Civic Centre to Mucheke Stadium where different organisations gave solidarity messages before Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira read President Mnangagwa’s speech.
In Mashonaland East Province, people marched to Rudhaka Stadium where the Minister of State Appolonia Munzverengi led proceedings.
There were however, no marches in Mashonaland Central and West after organisers decided that people from the two provinces should join in the main event in Harare.