NOW that the Zanu PF government has fired its cheap political potshots through the anti-sanctions march that failed to resonate with the majority of a better informed population with regards to the real cause of the crisis in the country and its solutions, it is time for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to demonstrate some real leadership and take the necessary steps.
We are sure that those that took part in the Friday anti-sanctions march are now aware that it is going to take much more than a march to have the embargo lifted and it is up to them to exert the necessary pressure on their leadership to simply fulfil their electoral promises.
The European Union (EU) and United States (US) are clear that the restrictive measures imposed on Mnangagwa and his leadership will remain in place until necessary reforms are carried out. This means, the march was yet another typical exercise in extravagance that is not going to provide solutions. The money poured into that useless campaign could have been put to much better use, especially in view of how public hospitals are struggling to procure the necessary resources to effectively discharge their mandate.
It is indeed not only sad, but tragic, that huge amounts of money, energy and time could be invested in such schoolboy politics that do not address the issues that attracted the sanctions in the first place. Matters of sanctions cannot be decided on the streets, because they require high-level diplomacy.
The march may have been supported by Sadc even as the regional body is fully aware that it was never going to work, which is why other regional leaders don’t use marches to engage the international community in their own countries.
In fact, the more the Zimbabwe crisis continues, the more it remains profitable to them, given the number of Zimbabweans that do their shopping in neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Tanzania. The more the Zimbabwe crisis obtains, the more they continue to feed their national coffers.
There is no way there is ever going to be an unconditional lifting of sanctions, and no amount of campaigns without the necessary reforms are going to have them lifted. If, indeed, the government is really concerned that sanctions are stifling economic growth and hurting ordinary citizens, then it must simply implement the political and economic reforms it promised in the run-up to the 2018 elections. Is that asking far too much? It is about time that Mnangagwa and his bureaucrats show real leadership qualities, otherwise history will judge them harshly as a bunch of useless politicians, with no clue on how to run a country.