Preparations for anti-sanctions demonstrations have gone a gear up with the Zimbabwe government declaring Oct. 25 a public holiday to allow as many people as possible to participate in marches and other activities earmarked for the day.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) in August declared Oct. 25 a day with solidarity under Zimbabwe’s anti-sanctions drive.

Member countries are expected to condemn the economic embargo imposed on the country by the western countries, arguing that the measures were affecting the region as a whole.

The main event in Zimbabwe will be held at the National Sports Stadium where they will hear solidarity messages from national and international presenters.

A presentation of research findings on the background and impact of the sanctions will also be done, acting Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Amon Murwira said.

“Highlights of events scheduled to take place at the National Sports Stadium will include entertainment; solidarity messages by various national and international presenters; presentation of research findings on the background and impact of the illegal sanctions; a soccer match between Dynamos and Highlanders football clubs; and the anti-sanctions gala to run from 6pm on the same day till the following morning,” he told journalists after a Cabinet meeting on Monday night.

Various top local musicians are expected to perform at the gala.

The march to the National Sports Stadium will start from an open space west of the city center informally known as Robert Mugabe Square, and not from Africa Unity Square in the city center as previously reported.

Murwira said similar activities were expected to take place in various provincial and district centers throughout the country.

“To further amplify the importance of this day to the economic emancipation and well-being of Zimbabwe, Friday October 25, 2019 shall be declared an official public holiday.

“The general public will be advised of more details of logistical arrangements in the build-up to the occasion. We, therefore, wish to appeal to all Zimbabweans across the board to come in their numbers and to actively participate towards the success of this grand and noble initiative,” he said.

The almost two-decade long sanctions were imposed by the United States and the European Union (EU) after former President Robert Mugabe allowed landless blacks to invade land owned by white farmers after former colonizer Britain refused to fund land reforms.

Several white farmers were killed during the land invasions.

The EU has maintained that the remaining sanctions were only targeted at Mugabe, his wife and a few State entities.

The United States has 141 entities, top officials and private individuals on its sanctions list and says that the sanctions will only be lifted when the government implements political reforms.

U.S. President Donald Trump in March extended by one year sanctions against the country saying that the government’s policies continued to pose an “unusual and extraordinary” threat to U.S. foreign policy.

The Zimbabwe government says that the country has lost about 42 billion U.S. dollars in revenue from the sanctions. Enditem


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