SCORES of people, led by anti-imperialist group December 12 (D12) Movement yesterday picketed at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States of America, calling for the removal of illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe, as the international lobby for the removal of the embargo continues to grow.
This comes as Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube who was in New York last week, said he has lured some US investors into the country, after convincing them that Zimbabwe is making progress despite the embargo.
At the UN headquarters yesterday, D12 Movement was joined by like-minded organisations that included Black Lives Matter Greater New York Chapter, the Patrick Lumumba Coalition, and the Nation of Islam.
The vocal crowd of demonstrators carried placards bearing pro-Zimbabwe messages that read “Zimbabwe will never be a colony again,” “No imperialist sanctions on Zimbabwe,” “Stone by Stone, President Mnangagwa is building Zimbabwe.”
D12 international secretariat member and human rights lawyer Mr Roger Wareham said they acknowledge the developments being recorded by President Mnangagwa’s Government.
“The purpose of the rally was to celebrate Zimbabwe’s current successes in agriculture, health care, infrastructure and economic development, while enduring 20 years of illegal sanctions and to expose the lies and hypocrisy of the opposition and its funders,” Mr Wareham said.
Speakers from the crowd took turns to express their misgivings with the West.
“We are an African people. The reason we are here in support of the people of Zimbabwe is that whatever the people of Zimbabwe
are enduring, the people of Congo and Chad are going through the same thing. The countries that are dominating the global economy do not have natural resources, I am sure you can see why they want to keep Africa in the state that it is,” one of the speakers at the event remarked.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail yesterday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana said Government welcomes the show of solidarity.
“We welcome all Pan-Africanists’ solidarity towards the removal of sanctions, especially now that we are approaching October 25, which is the day set aside by SADC to speak out against illegal sanctions. All positive thinking people, including those of African heritage and descent should rally around Zimbabwe in its quest to have sanctions removed,” said Mr Mangwana.
He said despite the obstacles thrown in Zimbabwe’s path by its detractors, the fight to improve the lives of citizens continues.
“Under the visionary leadership of President Mnangagwa, the focus has been to use our local resources and focus on our advantages to deliver an upper middle income economy for our people by the year 2030. We have peace, unity of purpose and we are using our own resources to develop our country,” he said.
Mr Mangwana said as Government, they are aware of plans by opposition activists to engage in antics meant to smear the image of the country in the run up to the United National General Assembly and the COP 26 event in Glasgow at end of October.
In a telephone interview on Thursday from the US, Professor Ncube said a number of US businesses were keen to invest in Zimbabwe.
“We are here as part of our global roadshow to lure investors. I was very surprised that some of those who are keen to invest in Zimbabwe actually have close ties to the US Government which has imposed sanctions on us. This means that the sanctions are now unnecessary and they need to be removed.”
“Our investment roadshow is part of the President’s engagement and re-engagement agenda. There are investors from different sectors and we were able to show them the potential that the country has in agriculture, mining, industry and a whole lot of other sectors.”
Political Analyst Dr Gift Gwindingwe said it is increasingly becoming difficult for the West to justify sanctions against Zimbabwe.
“The solidarity message amplifies the idea that the sanctions are unjustified and there is need for a global debate on the issue. I take D12 as a metaphorical neighbour who cannot watch his neighbour being tormented and butchered by strangers,” said Dr Gwindingwe.
Professor Charles Pfukwa, a media expert and Onomastics scholar said the solidarity shown by D12 should be replicated across the continent.
“History will judge proponents of sanctions, there was a time when slavery was fashionable but it became immoral with time. The same will happen to sanctions. The west refashioned slavery in that we remain subservient to their interests and sanctions are one of the imperialistic tools they are using to maintain the repressive system in place.”