A section of traditional leaders, fronted by outspoken Ntabazinduna Chief Nhlahlayamangwe Felix Ndiweni, believe the western sanctions must neither be removed nor relaxed, as they are not responsible for Zimbabwe’s current economic and social meltdown.
Rather, the chiefs, said those who would partake in the anti-sanctions march on October 25, must call for the resignation of the Emmerson Mnangagwa led administration which they said failed to govern the country.
“Mnangagwa has failed to manage our economy and now wants us to believe it is because of sanctions. That logic has no credibility,” said Chief Ndiweni Tuesday, while addressing press at the Bulawayo Media Centre.
The maverick said for many years now, the SADC leadership had chosen to listen only to the narrative of the government and not Zimbabweans, which had brought more bad results.
“Perhaps it is now time, that the true narrative of Zimbabweans be given a chance to be heard should that be agreeable, the probability is very high that the Zimbabwe problem may be finally resolved. However, should the SADC leaders still find an issue with the true narrative of the people of Zimbabwe then the Zimbabwean problem will continue,” he said.
Chief Ndiweni urged those who wished to join the sanctions march to “loudly call for Mnangagwa and his administration to resign because of their failed sanctions strategy.”
He added Mnangagwa’s administration had “failed the economy, failed this nation and failed the people. They have bankrupted this country.”
Chief Ndiweni said he and a group of about 30 chiefs from the different provinces of Zimbabwe, who presided over 70 percent of the population, could not remain silent otherwise that would be a “profound error of judgement.”
“It is right and proper that the narrative of the sanctions matter emanating from Amakhosi should be different from that emanating from the current administration. Amakhosi are more in touch with the people on a daily basis hence are the rightful people to make comments of these matters,” he noted.
The chief said it was a disappointment that the current administration was using sanctions as a cover up and excuse of their misgovernance, noting that if sanctions were to be removed instantly it would not improve Zimbabwe’s economy.
“They have chosen to put all the blame for our economic and social crisis, on the targeted international sanctions, paced upon identifiable individuals in our country. We reject the notion that our economic and social meltdown is a result of the targeted international sanctions,” he noted.
“International sanctions can be removed today but it would not rectify and improve our economy and social lifestyles. What we know is that the current group of individuals who are phenomenally wealthy would become richer. The vast majority of us who are poor would be even poorer.”
He added that those advancing the anti-sanctions agenda were not being truthful to the public.
“Good people, comprehensive sanctions of this nature just do not exist. If one still believes the sanctions story from this administration, then with the greatest respect to you and no offence intended either, the Almighty has denied you wisdom and knowledge,” Chief Ndiweni chided.
The chief said the October 25 anti-sanctions march was an attempt at “emotional blackmail,” which was not credible.
“Why were the sanctions brought in? They were brought in by the US government as the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) in 2001 to encourage the restoration of property rights, restoring democracy and restoring the economy is what we also want. All this restoration could have been done within the first 100 days of this administration term by legislations. Had that been done we would have no sanctions now,” he explained.
Instead of calling for sanctions removal, the Mnangagwa administration must reform and take full responsibility for the country’s economic meltdown, said Chief Ndiweni.