By Bulawayo Correspondent
OUTSPOKEN Ntabazinduna Chief, Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni Wednesday slammed government’s planned anti-sanctions march insisting it would be wiser for locals to use the occasion to call for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s resignation.
He was addressing Bulawayo journalists in the country’s second largest city ahead of Friday’s anti-sanctions protest.
“The current targeted international sanctions must not be removed or relaxed for they are not responsible for the current economic and social meltdown in Zimbabwe,” said the firebrand traditional leader.
“Those who wish to join the sanctions marches on the 25th of October 2019; go out, join the marches and call out loudly for Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa to do the honourable thing and resign with his administration because they have failed the people, they have bankrupted this country.”
Ndiweni rubbished continued government claims the 2001 and 2003 travel ban and asset freeze on top Zimbabwean politicians and individuals linked to the ruling elite were the main cause of the suffering that Zimbabweans have endured for two decades.
“We reject the notion that our economic and social meltdown is a result of the targeted international sanctions.
“International sanctions can be removed today but it would not rectify and improve our economy or our social lifestyles.
“What we know is that the current group of individuals who are phenomenally wealthy would get even richer.
“The vast majority of us who are poor would get even poorer,” he said.
Ndiweni accused government of buying guns and expensive cars while claiming to be under sanctions.
“We have never seen comprehensive international sanctions upon a nation that still allows the nation in question to purchase 600 sniper rifles.
“This very administration recently purchased 600 top-of-the-range sniper rifles.
“This very administration recently purchased 300 AK47 assault rifles. The administration purchased offensive and not defensive riot equipment and hundreds of twin cab vehicles for the ruling party (Zanu PF),” he said.
Ndiweni also accused SADC of failing to appreciate the root cause of the country’s problems.
“For many years now, the leaders of SADC countries have chosen to listen to only the narrative of this administration in Zimbabwe.
“That course of action has not yielded the necessary results. Perhaps it is now time that the true narrative of the people of Zimbabwe is given a chance to be heard.
“Should that be agreeable, then the probability is very high that the Zimbabwean problem may be finally resolved.”