Zimbabwe Rallies Against Sanctions Ahead of SADC Summit

by Victor Adetimilehin

Zimbabweans are gearing up for a series of events to mark the Anti-Sanctions Day on Wednesday, a regional initiative to denounce the illegal economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union.  President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to deliver a televised speech to condemn the sanctions, which have been in place for more than two decades and have crippled the country’s economy and development.


Various local activities will be held across the country, including marches, musical galas, and business expos. The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services is also hosting a two-day SADC Anti-Sanctions solidarity summit in Mutoko, featuring a media indaba and a business expo.


The Southern African Development Community (SADC) declared October 25 as the Anti-Sanctions Day in 2019, at its 39th Summit of Heads of State and Government in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The regional bloc expressed its solidarity with Zimbabwe and called for the unconditional removal of the sanctions.


SADC chairperson and Angolan President João Lourenço and individual countries from the region are also expected to issue statements to mark the day in solidarity with Zimbabwe. The sanctions were imposed by the US under the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 and by the EU in February 2002, allegedly over human rights violations and electoral fraud by the former regime of Robert Mugabe.


However, Zimbabwe argues that the sanctions are illegal, unjustified, and politically motivated, as they have not been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. The country also says that the sanctions have caused immense suffering to ordinary Zimbabweans and hampered its efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.


A study commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade estimates that Zimbabwe could have lost up to US$42 billion in revenue over the past 20 years due to the sanctions. This year’s Anti-Sanctions Day will be held under the theme, “Harnessing the Youth for Accelerated Socio-Economic Development in the Fight Against Sanctions” as the government seeks to involve young people in the campaign against the sanctions.


Several African leaders recently took advantage of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York to call for the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe. They urged the international community to support Zimbabwe’s reform agenda and economic recovery under President Mnangagwa’s Second Republic.


Zimbabwe hopes that its voice will be heard and that the sanctions will be lifted soon, paving the way for a brighter future for its people.


Source: [The Herald]

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