Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
FORMER liberation movements (FLMs) in Southern Africa have resolved to stage anti-sanctions demonstrations at US embassies in the region to show solidarity with Zimbabwe for the removal of the illegal embargo.
The sanctions have decimated the economy and blocked lines of credit, critical in financing production and the acquisition of latest machinery.
Sixteen Heads of State in the Sadc region met recently in Tanzania and declared October 25 as a solidarity day against illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and resolved to conduct various activities in their countries on the day to resoundingly call for the immediate removal of the sanctions.
African Union chairperson, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is expected to raise the issue at the upcoming 74th United Nations General Assembly later this month.
Sadc Foreign Affairs Ministers have been assigned to make sure the issue is included in speeches that will be delivered at the annual UN meeting.
FLMs attending the 10th meeting of the Secretaries General of the Former Liberation Movements of Southern Africa yesterday resolved to come up with some activities in their respective countries among them marches and demonstrations.
The resolution was made in separate meetings of Youth League and war veterans during breakaway sessions and are set for adoption at the main plenary of Secretaries Generals today.
In an interview, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson, Cde Douglas Mahiya, who chaired the war veterans break-away session, said war veterans in every country will lead the demonstrations as they are the nucleus of political opinion.
“We have gathered to resist neo-colonialism as we also go a gear up in making our people understand who they are and the thrust of the enemy to fund opposition through non-governmental organisations. The region has united in fighting sanctions against Zimbabwe and on the 25th of October we are going to start a new movement in the region to educate and be clear to the West that sanctions are a weapon of mass destruction.
“We are seated here as war veterans to strategise how we are going to conscientise young people to understand where we came from and where we are going hence it’s our duty to educate them and hand over knowledge systems that brought about independence,” said Cde Mahiya.
Dates for the demonstrations are not yet finalised.
ZNLWVA chairperson Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe is a target for imperialists who do not want its economy to take off hence the continued imposition of illegal sanctions.
“An issue coming out of our own deliberations as war veterans is that liberation movements in their respective countries begin to crusade against sanctions by demonstrating at American embassies so that the American government is made fully aware of the anger and revulsion of the regional population of Sadc countries,” said Ambassador Mutsvangwa.
He said the campaign will cascade to the grassroots so all citizens across the region participate.
“It’s a total onslaught by the region starting from the Heads of State to grassroots. We will be organising demonstrations through war veterans and liberation movements. We hope young people will begin to realise that their lack of jobs in the region is caused by the same forces which denied us independence,” he said.
Ambassador Mutsvangwa said planning for the demonstrations has already started.
Earlier during the presentations, Ambassador Mutsvangwa read a concept paper from the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services updating delegates on the anti-sanctions drive.
Zanu-PF Deputy Secretary for the Youth League Cde Lewis Matutu said youths resolved to unite in the call for removal of sanctions.
He said a regional Youth League Secretariat will be formed today to start planning for the anti-sanctions activities as each country is affected.
“We resolved that this is the time for us to act in terms of denouncing sanctions. We are going to be having road shows, marches and demonstrations across the region and have agreed to set a secretariat made up of two members from each country to start planning and monitoring programmes,” said Cde Matutu.
He said the ongoing conference is an eye opener among youths about the need for unity and cooperation.
South Africa’s Umkhonto WeSizwe Military Veterans’ Association treasurer general Cde Des van Rooyen said sanctions were affecting the whole region hence their removal will help in ensuring economic stabilisation.
He said Umkhonto WeSizwe will lead the march in the neighbouring country to the US embassy to make the message clear that sanctions must be removed.
The conference ends today.—@ncubeleon