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'Zimbabwe set to bust sanctions, prosper'

11 Oct 2020 at 10:03hrs | Views
Zimbabwe has started the build-up to this year's edition of the Anti-Sanctions Day on October 25, ratified by SADC to intensify the lobby on lifting of sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western countries.

The Sunday Mail's Correspondent Wallace Ruzvidzo (WR) spoke to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana (NM) to get an update on preparations for the Anti-Sanctions Day, which is also a National Holiday. Below is the interview:

***

Q: May you give us an overview of this year's plans for the Anti-Sanctions Day?

A: Government has arranged an array of activities to commemorate the October 25 Anti-Sanctions Day.

President Mnangagwa will deliver his national anti-sanctions address, giving guidance and direction to the nation on how to forge ahead against the disruptive illegal sanctions.

There is also an Anti-Sanctions virtual gala that will be held in a provincial town away from Harare. This is in line with President Mnangagwa's policy of devolution and decentralising Government events and programmes away from the capital, Harare.

The activities include engaging media partners to produce documentaries; hold debates; interviews; generate articles and develop stories that promote discourse on the anti-sanctions drive.

Further, the activities include erecting billboards and promoting other activities that create a hype around the important Day and also send a clear message to those who imposed the sanctions and their local surrogates that the time is nigh for them to remove the illegal measures.

We are going to deploy outreach vans to all the provinces to sensitise people about the anti-sanctions drive.

We will reach out to regional SADC partners and the international community to join Zimbabwe in condemning the heinous sanctions.

We want to demonstrate that Government is doing a lot to circumvent the illegal sanctions and develop the country using locally mobilised resources. It is time to prove to Zimbabwe's detractors that we can do it on our own as their unrelenting kicks will spur us forward.

Q: Last year's inaugural activities included a highly subscribed march, are this year's activities not going to be affected by Covid-19?

A: President Mnangagwa reiterated that saving life is sacrosanct. Saving life is the utmost priority for Government. We have suspended economic activity; we have suspended electoral activity; we have suspended political activity; all in a bid to save life.

Hence, we will not sacrifice the lives of our people to put across the anti-sanctions message. This means there will not be any march against the illegal sanctions this year. Everything will be done virtually.

Q: How detrimental have these sanctions been on Zimbabwe's economic growth?

A: The illegal sanctions destroyed our economy. The epitome of the destruction was captured during the 2007/08 hyperinflation period. Industry imploded and numerous jobs were lost. Shops were empty while fuel stations were dry. Earnings were eroded while hospitals were reduced to death traps.

Only now has Government under the able leadership of President Mnangagwa started to fight the tentacles of sanctions by mobilising local resources to stabilise the economy and develop the country despite the existence of the debilitating sanctions.

Government is rehabilitating roads, constructing new dams, rebuilding infrastructure destroyed by Cyclone Idai, supporting agriculture, supporting local industries, fighting Covid-19 and many more.

What should be noted is that all this support is locally mobilised. In the case of Covid-19, it should be underscored that all other countries in the world received thousands of dollars of support from International Financial Institutions, some even got debt relief but Zimbabwe got nothing. Despite the discrimination, President Mnangagwa led a well-coordinated and locally funded fight against Covid-19. The results of this fight are there for everyone to see.

Q: Can Zimbabwe's economic recovery be achieved while the illegal embargo remains?

A: Definitely. With the able leadership of President Mnangagwa, we are set to bust the sanctions and prosper as a nation. Gone are the days when we used to
cry wolf about the illegal sanctions, now we are back on our feet, applying
our
best minds to fight the debilitating measures.

Due to the focused and premeditated interventions by President Mnangagwa, our country now has stable fuel supply; fully stocked supermarkets with stable prices; good supply of locally produced products that have substituted the expensive imports.

More local products have filled our supermarket shelves.

Agricultural production is being expanded through targeted and well-thought-out interventions like the-PFumvudza Programme and the Mechanisation programme.

All these measures are directed at mitigating the lethal effects of the illegal sanctions on food security and the survival of the economy.

Q: What is the international significance of the anti-sanctions day?

A: The world should know that October 25 is not a day to fight sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe alone. It is a date set aside by SADC to fight sanctions imposed against any of its member states.

If Lesotho is today slapped with sanctions, the whole region will come together to condemn those sanctions, particularly on October 25.

Now that Zimbabwe is the only country in the region saddled with illegal sanctions, the SADC region is standing with the country to fight the corrosive measures.

Source - sundaymail
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