BULAWAYO – Business was as usual in Bulawayo on Tuesday, as most residents ignored the few hundreds of government sympathisers marching against sanctions in the central business district.
The march, convened under the so-christened SADC anti-sanctions day, started from government’s Mhlahlandlela Complex, with the placard waving group proceeding onto Joshua Nkomo Street right to the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ)’s main building parking space.
Vendors along the streets continued selling their wares oblivious to the much-hyped government sponsored event in their midst.
Others city dwellers strode to their different workplaces while those queuing at on bank pavements around the CBD also had nothing to do with the march.
Speaking to the ZimLive while keeping his bank queue position at the post office not too far from the anti-sanctions gathering, Banele Banda said marching will not yield any results.
“Ever since these marches began a few years back, there have been no tangible results.
“Marching is a waste of time. I have been here since morning to collect my money and l will not bother to even listen to all these addresses being made over there.”
Melody Ncube, another resident, said government should instead focus its energies towards creating an economically stable country.
“I’m not sure how marching is going to help but l plead with the country’s rulers to do something about our economy. Our desire is to live in country that has a good economy,” she said.
However, some showed optimism the marches organised for every 25 October will one day come to fruition.
“If we continue to let the West know that we do not like the sanctions they have imposed on us, through these marches, they will have to consider our pleas. We have had enough, the sanctions must go,” said Takudzwa Bhamu, one of the residents who attended the march.
Speaking at the event, Bulawayo Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC) Paul Nyoni urged Zimbabweans to unite against “illegal sanctions” imposed on the country by the West soon after the turn of the century.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Zimbabwe has been under economic sanctions since 2001 and this has adversely affected our country’s economy. Without sanctions, Zimbabwe’s economy would be thriving.
“The illegal sanctions imposed by the United Kingdom and its allies are targeted at key sectors of the economy.
“This has resulted in depressed economic performance and undermined service delivery,” he said.
However, in a statement Tuesday, the UK embassy in Harare dismissed continued claims its sanctions and those imposed collectively with western allies on Zimbabwe have impeded economic development in its troubled former colony.