Zimbabwe may be hard-pressed by sanctions, which were imposed on Harare nearly two decades ago, but it is not crushed, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said today at the inaugural anti-sanctions day at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to remain resilient and boost production in both agriculture and industry despite the sanctions which he said had caused untold suffering on the people of Zimbabwe and southern Africa and were not targetted at individuals as claimed by the European Union and the United Sates.
The European Union today said sanctions on Zimbabwe were only targeted at two people, former President Robert Mugabe who died last month and his wife Grace, as well as the Zimbabwe Defence Industries.
Zimbabwe is, however, under an EU arms embargo and cannot access essential lines of credit from the Paris Club.
The United States also claims that its sanctions are targeted at 141 individuals and entities but Zimbabwe cannot access international finance because of the sanctions.
While Zimbabwe stopped accessing international finance after failing to pay its arrears to key international Financial Institutions -the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank- it might not be able to access finance even if it clears these arrears because the United States president has to approve any financial assistance to Zimbabwe under the current sanctions regime.
The anti-sanctions day was declared by the Southern African Development Community at its summit in Tanzania in August.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, however, refused to participate in the anti-sanctions march because it des not address “bread and butter issues”.
“The long-standing crisis in Zimbabwe has been caused by the lack of confidence by our country’s citizens in the current political leadership of the country,” the MDC said.
“This is as result of the culture of bad governance and illegitimacy that rose out of a disputed stolen presidential elections results.
“Indeed, the lack of good governance, legitimate and accountable leadership as evidenced by rigged or stolen elections; State-sanctioned gross human rights violations; rampant corruption; police brutality; arbitrary arrests and persecution of opposition politicians and civil society activists; abductions and forced disappearances; abuse of food aid as a political weapon; suppression of rural communities; cartels or state capture; among other vices that military against the people of Zimbabwe.”