editorial comment

WHEN people embark on a demonstration, it is to register certain concerns and have the targeted individual or audience address the said concerns. As Zanu PF has been planning their march against illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and the European Union, they would be wise to heed the US ambassador Brian Nichols’ sentiments.

Nichols represents the US government in Zimbabwe, and he is the best person to advise the government on what they ought to do to have the embargo lifted. Suffice to say he has already spoken, urging the President Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government to implement the necessary political reforms, uphold the rule of law, effectively fight corruption, respect human rights and fully implement the 2013 Constitution.

This is like giving an examination candidate the answer sheet before they sit for the exam, and only a foolish student will write answers different from those on the answer sheet. And it looks like this is what Zanu PF is bent on doing today with their march, with those that will be used as foot soldiers in the march waking up the following day to the same old Zimbabwe of endless fuel queues, exorbitantly priced basic commodities and high cost of living.

Indeed sanctions are bad for they stagnant economic growth. The reality though is Zimbabweans are suffering under the weight of Zanu PF sanctions in the form of endemic corruption, poor governance and lack of political will to institute political reforms, among others.

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So, the effects of sanctions could be a fraction as compared to the plunder by Zanu PF fat cats.

Yet those who are sending them onto the streets have fuel delivered to them, do not fret over the price of bread and will continue to enjoy the niceties of life. Surely, there are a few smart people in Zanu PF who can read through these phony agendas.

In fact, those that are marching today must demand that their leaders fulfil the demands that have been presented to them — which are the very same promises that Mnangagwa made when he became President, ostensibly having removed the late former President Robert Mugabe on the pretext that he was reluctant to implement those demands. Those that are marching should think about their children and the legacy they want to leave for them.

Out of nearly 16 million Zimbabweans, there are only 141 people and companies on the US sanctions’ list. And many of these are responsible for the hardships that the majority of people are facing. Why then would anyone with a brain that is functional go for that march? For what reason? This is not about sanctions. It’s about abuse of power, corruption, lack of reforms. It is not even a mystery what the government should do to have the sanctions lifted.

But one thing for certain is that the sanctions will not be removed because people have marched. You can be rest assured about that. They will only be removed when the necessary reforms have been implemented. Period!

Zimbabweans must push government for these reforms to happen — and at the very soonest too.