PREPARATIONS for this year SADC Anti-Sanctions Day are at an advanced stage, with South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mphakama Mbete saying a meeting of regional diplomats is on the cards ahead of the day.
This follows a declaration by SADC member states last year to unite in the call for the unconditional removal of the unjust economic sanctions that have had a debilitating effect on the country’s economic development.
“We are going to convene a meeting this week as SADC ambassadors to prepare for the Anti-Sanctions Day.
“My government and other SADC member states will take part in the commemorations of the Anti-Sanctions Day scheduled for October 25. All SADC members’ states are rallying behind Zimbabwe in the fight against the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, which is affecting the general populace,” he said.
Although the Second Republic has opened its doors for re-engagement and engagement with all countries, some Western countries have rebuffed the efforts as evidenced by periodic renewals.
Malawian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Annie Yauka Kumwenda, said sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were affecting SADC, hence the need to call for their removal since they were stifling economic growth of the region.
“The imposed sanctions on the innocent people of Zimbabwe have done more damage, more especially where its intended purpose is not known.
“Malawi stands in solidarity with Zimbabwe, SADC and all well-wishers in calling an end to the sanctions. The sanctions are actually impinging on human rights. Children are born and raised in a sanction environment. Access to quality life like education, health, food, shelter is compromised, all because of the sanctions. Please lift the sanctions for the well-being of children who know nothing about sanctions apart from bearing their consequences,” she said.
African leaders, from Cape Town to Cairo have been unequivocal in their united call for the removal of the unjust sanctions which have cost Zimbabwe more billions of dollars as the country had to go it alone without access to financial loans and other budgetary support.
This year, the SADC secretariat has taken the fight against the illegal sanctions that were imposed by Western countries, including the United States and the European Union, to various Western capitals with ambassadors from regional states engaging their host nations to amplify the voice for the lifting of the sanctions.
In Zimbabwe, the commemoration of the Anti-Sanctions Day will culminate in the hosting of a music gala to be graced by an array of artistes. Organisers of the gala said the venue is likely to be outside Harare. The idea behind hosting the gala outside the capital is meant to ensure that the anti-sanctions message cascades to the grassroots.