Takunda Maodza in NYANGA
THE Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) yesterday rallied Zimbabweans across the political divide, colour and creed to stand together and fight illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West.
POLAD is an assembly of 17 political parties that participated in last year’s harmonised elections.
The political parties are gathered in Nyanga for a workshop on the the US’ Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) and sanctions.
They are also undergoing training on international relations, diplomacy and etiquette to enable them to advocate for the removal of the two-decade economic embargo on foreign soil.
Addressing a press conference here, POLAD co-convener and and National Peace and Reconciliation Commission chairman, Justice Selo Nare said there was need to come up with a strategy to help the country rid itself of the illegal sanctions.
“The Political Actors Dialogue has convened a meeting to discuss the topical issue of ZIDERA and sanctions, which seems to have plagued the nation. In solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the region and Africa, the political actors have resolved to deliberate on their position on the matter and churn out a strategy to help the nation rid of itself of this malady called sanctions,” he said.
Justice Nare said citizens must be made aware of what sanctions are and their impact on Zimbabwe.
“Therefore, the political actors have decided that to properly articulate the matter of sanctions, the ordinary citizen should be aware of what sanctions mean and their impact on their lives. The political actors are gathered here to dialogue and proffer solutions on how to resolve the matter of sanctions regardless of their political differences. We urge all Zimbabweans to stand together, remain united and fight against sanctions,” he added.
In separate interviews, POLAD members said the issue of sanctions was no longer debatable as the embargo was affecting everyone.
“We have decided that we are joining the advocacy for campaigning against sanctions and the removal of sanctions. Once a person embarks on an advocacy there is need to be clear about the issues for which you are advocating. So, this workshop seeks to capacitate us as political actors with the issues and facts about these sanctions so that when we do the advocacy campaign we are clear, we are factual and we are able to change the narrative and have the people affected talking about them,” said People’s Rainbow Coalition leader, Ms Lucia Matibenga.
She dismissed the US embassy’s claim there were no American sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“It is typical. In any issue when people are advocating for issues, they are those for and those against. The Americans are actually propagating their own narrative and one will forgive them for that,” said Ms Matibenga.
MDC-T leader Dr Thokozani Khupe said sanctions were strangling the economy and all facets of life.
“The major problem we have had is that there has not been enough advocacy on the issue of sanctions so that people understand the effects and impact of sanctions on individuals and on the country as a whole,” she said.
Dr Khupe said international capital was shunning Zimbabwe as a result of sanctions.