PRESIDENT Mnangagwa says he is optimistic that countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe will heed the thunderous voice of Sadc countries that will protest the continued existence of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Friday — October 25 — is the day that Sadc dedicated as the day of regional solidarity against embargoes on Zimbabwe, now spanning two decades. He said this yesterday in an interview with the Russian News Agency, Sputnik, ahead of the Russia-Africa Summit that kicks off here today.
The President praised Sadc member states for joining hands with Harare in the fight against the illegal sanctions imposed by the West, principally the United States of America. He said Africa’s vision was to be united as espoused by the continent’s founding fathers and speak with one voice.
“The issue is that Zimbabwe has been under sanctions for two decades. The SADC summit in August resolved that they (member states) will demonstrate against these illegal sanctions imposed on us by the West so that they can be removed,” said President Mnangagwa.
“As Zimbabwe, we have always spoken against sanctions, as Sadc we have been speaking against sanctions and also as African Union, but at this particular event, the region has taken the matter to another level, where as a region on one day on the 25th of October, Sadc will demonstrate against these sanctions.
“Whether something will come out it or not, but our voice as Sadc will be heard. I am told that because of sanctions, Zimbabwe has lost billions and billions of dollars both in terms of investments and loss of lines of credit from international global capital.”
Preparations for the day of solidarity against sanctions are gathering pace across the country with the main celebrations slated for the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
Government has since declared Friday a national holiday, apart from examination writing classes, to allow citizens to go out in their numbers and condemn the sanctions. Sadc countries have also heightened preparations for the demonstration against the ruinous and illegal sanctions.
President Mnangagwa also said Zimbabwe’s presence in Russia was not to seek any military equipment as has been suggested by some sections of the media. He said Harare only wants to deepen collaboration with Moscow as it seeks to transform its economy, which has suffered immensely under the weight of US sanctions over 20 years.
Turning to the issue of dialogue among political parties, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe does not need a foreign mediator.
“Zimbabwe is a democratic country and has democratic space; anyone is free to talk or to dream whatever they want. Zimbabwean problems require Zimbabwean solutions and African problems require African solutions. If there is a problem we have Sadc to resolve our problems and that is the correct structure and if Sadc thinks there is need to invite African Union they will do so us but at the present moment we haven’t faced any problems that we as Zimbabwe we have failed to solve,” said President Mnangagwa.
His remarks follow reports that MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa has sought the assistance of the AU to intervene and cause dialogue between the President and him.
President Mnangagwa has repeatedly said every political party or citizen who has ideas that can help turn around the economy, should join the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), which has started meeting. However, Mr Chamisa has refused to take part in the dialogue process that includes other parties, preferring to have exclusive dialogue involving Zanu-PF and MDC-Alliance only.