Paul Nyathi|So called illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West have brought untold suffering to ordinary people and their impact has also affected neighbouring countries, President Mnangagwa has said. He said this while addressing people who thronged the National Sports Stadium in Harare to mark the SADC-initiated day against sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
The day was adopted by SADC Heads of State and Government at their summit in Tanzania in August.
“On 18 August 2019, the SADC Heads of State and Government, meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, took a bold and historic decision to declare October 25, as the day on which the entire SADC region would collectively voice its disapproval and condemnation of the illegal sanctions imposed on our country, Zimbabwe,” he said.
“The unjustified and oppressive illegal sanctions continue to cause untold suffering to the ordinary people of our great country.
“Their direct and indirect debilitating impacts have equally been felt by our neighbours. Today, we arise and collectively say enough is enough. The illegal sanctions are an albatross to the development, well-being and prosperity of the people of Zimbabwe.”
President Mnangagwa thanked SADC for standing by Zimbabwe and its condemnation of the sanctions at the 74th Ordinary Session of the UN General Assembly.
He also commended Zimbabweans for speaking out against the embargo, as evidenced by the turnout at yesterday’s protest march.
While Mnangagwa was busy mourning the sanctions, the United States of America added one of his top righthand men to the list of people on the targeted sanctions.
The United States has said that it would refuse entry to Zimbabwe’s security minister as it voiced alarm over the government’s crackdown on protests and the opposition.
The US said it would deny a visa to Owen Ncube, the minister of public security, under a sanctions law that targets “gross violations of human rights.”
“We are deeply troubled by the Zimbabwean government’s use of state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protesters and civil society, as well as against labour leaders and members of the opposition leaders in Zimbabwe,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
“We urge the government to stop the violence, investigate and hold accountable officials responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Western powers had tense relations for years with Zimbabwe’s veteran ruler Robert Mugabe, but hopes for a thaw after the military ousted him in November 2017 were short-lived.
Post-election violence last year after allegations of fraud claimed six lives, while at least 17 people died in anti-government protests in January after a fuel price hike.
The US announcement came the same day that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration organized a mass protest in Harare to demand the lifting of sanctions.
Mnangagwa has struggled to revive Zimbabwe’s troubled economy, with inflation still skyrocketing and shortages of basic goods.