Zanu-PF on Tuesday politicised the funeral of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s grandson as a launchpad for tricking citizens to attend its anti-sanctions event in Harare.
Old women and men from as far as Masvingo were conned by Zanu-PF and told that they were going to Bikita to attend the funeral of Yasha Mafidi Mnangagwa (Sean Mnangagwa’s son) who died on Sunday after suffering from respiratory complications, before they were diverted to Harare to protest against sanctions at the United States (US) embassy.
They were not fed and most of them were so angry accusing the Zanu-PF Harare chapter of confiscating food.
While being interviewed by the media on the sidelines of the protests at the embassy, the poor old women and men complained that they were starving and wished to go home.
They also cited that buses were not available and they were stranded. They clearly felt betrayed by their own party.
“We were duped; we thought we were going to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s grandson’s funeral in Masvingo, only to find ourselves in Harare and being told to join a march against sanctions,” one old woman stated.
The other said she was so hungry and supposed to take high blood pressure medication but couldn’t do so without eating. She seemingly wanted to cry.
After getting into power through a military coup that ousted former leader Robert Mugabe in November 2017, Mnangagwa went on to win elections in 2018 under controversial circumstances.
In 2019, the Zanu-PF leader designated 25 October as the day for the denunciation of sanctions imposed by Western countries on Zimbabwe.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries supported his idea. On Tuesday, the countries equally denounced the sanctions imposed by the west.
But the US and UK remained adamant telling Zimbabwean authorities that their targeted economic measures had nothing to do with the downfall of the Southern African country’s economy but corruption and economic mismanagement by the Zanu-PF regime.
The US embassy in Harare said: “The direct impact of sanctions on the average Zimbabwean is minimal compared to the economic devastation caused by years of corruption, poor policy choices, and economic mismanagement.”
The UK embassy in Harare also said that the targeted sanctions on five human rights abusers, and the state run arms company, “do not affect trade” with Zimbabwe or the country’s economic development.
“To be absolutely clear, the UK has targeted sanctions on five Zimbabwean officials and one entity for human rights violations and serious corruption.
“The five individuals are Owen Ncube, Isaac Moyo, Godwin Matanga, Anselem Sanyatwe and Kudakwashe Tagwirei. The entity is the Zimbabwe Defence Industries. These measures do not affect trade or economic development,” read the statement.
“Trade between the UK and Zimbabwe was 175 million USD last year. We are working hard to increase this.
“The UK also provides considerable development assistance to education and health care in Zimbabwe – 114 million USD this year. This is assistance in support of Zimbabwe’s own National Development Strategy.
“We want to see Zimbabwe succeed. Anything to suggest that the UK wants to harm Zimbabwe or ordinary Zimbabweans is simply false,” the UK embassy added.