By Bulawayo Correspondent
BULAWAYO: Residents and political parties here have described the government-sponsored anti-sanctions virtual musical gala held here last night as a waste of resources and cheap political gimmick, which will not yield any benefits.
The government in conjunction with Zanu PF Saturday night held an anti-sanctions gala at a Bulawayo local hotel.
However, Mbuso Fuzwayo, the Ibhetshu Likazulu coordinator described the e-gala as a Zanu PF political programme meant to divert the public from real political and economic challenges facing the country.
“The gala is a waste of state resources. They are abusing resources and want us to believe they are failing because of sanctions. It is a diversion tactic and a party political programme meant to make citizens support corruption under the guise of fighting sanctions,” he said.
“If there are sanctions, you engage the countries that imposed them and make concessions, not galas. The purpose of last night’s gala was not to fight for the removal of sanctions but cheating the suffering citizens to continue supporting the looting of national resources.”
Fuzwayo equated Saturday’s gala to expelled Zanu PF’s youth chairperson Kudzanai Chipanga’s infamous youth interface rallies, which ended with the removal from office, of the now late President Robert Mugabe in November 2017.
“The anti-sanctions gala is like the youth rallies of Chipanga in which the G40 wanted to take power through those rallies when they knew power is in Zanla. Even yesterday’s gala is nonsense,” he said.
Economic Freedom Fighters Zimbabwe (EFFZ) president Innocent Ndibali said although his party was opposed to the trade embargo, the government should address all the issues which led to the imposition of the sanctions.
“It is EFF Zimbabwe’s policy that economic sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe must be lifted and must be lifted now. However, we also call upon the government of Zimbabwe and Zanu PF to apply the same level of energy and commitment to lifting their own sanctions they have put on our people.
“The people are asking for better economic management, end to corruption, better healthcare services, education, jobs, clean water, electricity, rule of law and to be able to hold free and fair political activities,” said Ndibali.
However, Zapu spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa argued that there were no sanctions imposed upon Zimbabwe.
“For starters, there are no sanctions against Zimbabwe or its economy. What the establishment is whining about are travel restrictions against a few Zanu PF officials who are found to be violating human rights, democratic rights, and also practicing corruption. They have used this as cover for their failure to govern and also turn around the economy,” said Maphosa
He said instead of wasting scarce state resources on useless galas, government should resign.
“If you lead a country under sanctions and fail to bust them and turn to sympathy seeking, it means you cannot lead, for leadership is all about solving problems.
“However, the Zanu PF regime should actually address corruption and thievery within its ranks and stop shooting at wrong targets. Again, Bulawayo is being sacrificed for slaughter as the royal city is being exposed to coronavirus infections in the absence of adequate health infrastructure to contain any outbreak,” said Maphosa.
Mildred Moyo, a student at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) also concurred.
“We have not been attending lessons for the past two months because lecturers are on strike because the government is failing to pay them living wages yet they find money to hold useless galas. That gala obviously chewed a lot of resources which could have been deployed to more pressing issues,” said Moyo.
The US and the European Union imposed targeted sanctions on some government and senior Zanu PF officials over human rights abuses, corruption and poll theft.