Anti-sanctions demo at US Embassy

HARARE - Dozens of demonstrators besieged the United States Embassy in Harare yesterday to protest against sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

Demonstrators from the Patriotic Forum for Children of Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans chanted songs denouncing the targeted measures and calling on Bruce Wharton, the US ambassador, to remove punitive measures. The group was singing liberation war songs and chanting “remove your sanctions.”

It was an hour-and-a-half protest that started at the Harare Gardens. Knowledge Sirege, the spokesperson of the group, said they were protesting against Western hypocrisy on Zimbabwe.

“This is a demonstration against the continued sanctions on Zimbabwe. This has come in light of the pre-election promises they made that they were going to drop sanctions after the election and they haven’t done that. If anything they want to add more,” Sirege said.

During an 11-day visit to Africa, the then US secretary of State Hillary Clinton said President Barrack Obama’s administration would only consider easing sanctions if there was a “credible” referendum and free and fair poll and categorically stated the targeted measures would only be eased if these conditions were met.

Subsequent to the July 31 election that retained President Robert Mugabe, the US has said the poll was flawed and would keep sanctions on Zimbabwe. Yesterday, the embassy’s guards watched helplessly as the placard-waving demonstrators taunted embassy staff.

A police truck full of uniformed officers passed by, ignoring the demo.  Sirege said they were targeting the repeal of the sanctions law, Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera). They said they were outraged by utterances by the US secretary of State John Kerry on the legitimacy of the Zimbabwe elections.

“They introduced Zidera and we want them to undo that move,” Sirege said.

“Kerry has been talking about our elections being unfair and this is just a premise of trying to keep the sanctions in place. The elections were free and fair as declared by Sadc and the AU (African Union).

“Despite them saying that these sanctions are targeted at individuals, the truth is they are affecting everyone. We have written a letter to Wharton and we handed the copy.”

Karen Kelley, the US embassy counsellor for Public Affairs, declined to comment on the demo.

“Yes, I am aware of the march but I do not have a comment at the moment. I will give you a call when I do have,” she said.

Comments (20)

Kikikiki why do you want to force people/nations to do business with you when they don't want? so you shout at them yet you know very well that they are important for your survival? this is bullshit. when Mugabe attended the UN summit in USA what did he say? didn't he scold Barack Obama and David Cameron? and you expect these two guys to be nice to you while you scold them. you really think they are more foolish than you are hey? and when Mugabe was busy insulting these guys; you Zimbos were ululating meaning that you were happy and you were free to make your Mugabe a hero out of nothing! so what has gone wrong now? why are you not staging this demo at state house instead of the US embassy? who is wrong in all this and who is right? up to a time when you learn to differentiate the bad from the good that's when these sanctions will be eased for now suffer continua. you are fully and wholly to blame for your predicament. you make a hero out of someone is not a hero at all. you are willing to sacrifice your livelihood simply to please someone who is robbing you of your livelihood. life is fair my fellow countrymen. Mugabe said now its tit for tat so let it be.

Denzel - 31 October 2013

Denzel uri dununu, povo zvayo. Why did they put sanctions on us and wat are their impact? Why did they remove sanctions on MMCZ? Time time u cant answer that question

sandie - 31 October 2013

They claim sanctions but have money to print such expensive posters and to wear such expensive clothes! Shame

Chipoto - 31 October 2013

Ko vanhu ava vakadii kutumirwa riot police? Ho zviya vaiita zvinodiwa ne government, thats why ma O veterans vakapurwa nezuro. Basa rokusweroshandiswa vana vachifa nenzara kumba. Saka zvamaka demonstrator nezuro wacho pane zvamakazowanawo here kunze kwemashereni amakapiwa etransport? Kwanai sevanhu kwavo, iye munhu arikukutumai aripi? Chirikuchemerwa nema O veterens hakuzi kusevenzeswa kwavakaitwa here during the land reform, now hurument haisisina mari yekuvapa, now they turn to such dogs & idiots like you. Munosembura mhani!!!

Chikududu - 31 October 2013

Backward thinking mob for hire is all.Educated people know what effect the sanctions have on Zim, not this hired mob of fools.Demonstrate for all the things your beloved uncle promised you in the run up to elections!!

Cloud - 31 October 2013

Kuswero shandiswa mhani mademonstrator chabuda chii, hapana,nguva yamakapedza muchitamba mungadai makashandira vana, tumapenzi.

Hazvie - 31 October 2013

We all know why sanctions were put in place but some people pretend as if they dont know.How many opposition supporters died in zimbabwe,how many people lost their properties to Zanu pf cronies,how many people were tortured in zimbabwe,how many perpetrators of violence and killers were arrested or tried in any court in Zimbabwe,they are roaming the streets freely and those who sent them are enjoying today and busy stealing taxpayers money.Those demonstrating are simply people who are blind enough to fall to cheap propaganda by Zanu pf who want to divert peoples' attention to their failures.Zanu pf knew sanctions were there when they were campaigning but all they wanted was power and some people voted for them on the premise they were going to create millions of jobs and empower people,now they are failing and they blame sanctions,and some people believe such nonsense.Zanu pf is selfish period,they dont care about the peoples' welfare as long they are in power and continue to enjoy.Nokupusa vamwe vedu mongoshandiswa.Munonyadzisa,endayi munobvunza Zanu kuti zvamakavimbisa pama elections zviripi.

mombe - 31 October 2013

Poor Bruce was enjoying his holiday in the sun....Pple, he works for the US govt and cant really do anything to influence that position. But the msg was sent.

Don Wezhira - 31 October 2013

@ Denzel you are on point. I really dont understand why they spend so much time begging to trade with countries that dont want to trade with them. Whatever happened to their look east policy? The Chinese and Indians so them coming and will take them for every resource they have & leave them dry with only US AID to provide porridge. Problem of being led by not so clever people.

Lt General - 31 October 2013

You did not want them to observe 'your election' because they are the epitome of the West. Now you want to engage them. Go to China and live the Americans with their America. This is the problem with populist rantings, they come back to haunt you.

Mavara Azarevhu - 31 October 2013

Check the real facts about sanctions of Zimbabwe For Prosperity facebook page

Chipoto - 31 October 2013

Isu vanaObama zii zvedu tichidya ma US dollar edu, chikafu tichifachura.

Obama - 31 October 2013

Where are our Zim police... they have to beat up these demonstrators...Kkkkk Oooh I see...

Obama Bin Laden - 31 October 2013

Muchasura nawo ma sanctions maZanu, hamusati mati baba.

US Embassy - 31 October 2013

The real sanctions on Zimbabwe were put by Zanu PF sanctions of looting and raping the innocent, America reserves the right to trade with whoever it decides to...We will never demonstrate our way out of problems. When we are led by people who studied Economics in prison using a candle to understand supply and demand curves you get insane policy. After the ZESA and Water bill right offs people celebrated but are upset when services are not delivered. We are held hostage by ignorance. These people celebrated when their boss said Shame , Shame at the UN now they want the people he scolded to play nice. Obama and UK are not fools.They are not foolish

zidane - 31 October 2013

apa ndafarira kti vana vema o vet. . . i believe kuti ma sanctions akaisirwa to certain individuals vanova ma o vet saka ngava proteste vega. . . tsvagai pdf doc racho panet muzviverengere moga moona kuti Bush aka signei. . akanyatsotanga a defina materms individual ne entity asati atanga kunyora ma sanctions acho

Gorofa - 1 November 2013

ooooh so sad to see how in this day & age one can be easily fooled n led to believe that its the sanctions that are to blame for the economic woes the country is facing. How Bob does it, I don't know but them lot are so stupid n shallow minded to put the blame on the west. Pay your debt n your credit lines will be opened, stop bucking toothless dogs.

Pfungwa Shoma Dzinoparira - 1 November 2013

What is the core business of the US embassy staff anyway?I think the Americans should go back to their country if they are not our friends or they should simply go elsewhere if they do not consider our plight in the face of the sanctions imposed by their govt on ours.

Billie - 1 November 2013

Vanorwara takawanda veduwee.Kubvunza vaivepo kuti chinonzi sanction chii 99% yavo havatozivi kuti chii ichocho.Kupusa kupururudza munhu mkuru achituka vamwe paruzhinji, why vana vechidiki vaakushaya hunhu.

persiouspkay - 1 November 2013

Kikiki, aluta manifesto, economy haina chitsotsi, u can rig and steal an election but economy u will eat humble pie. Indeginise, Empower, Develop and Employ. Was that manifesto premised on sanctions removal. Handiti they knew sanctions were there and would not go isu tirikuda mabasa avakavimbisa. Kikiki no Francis Nhema has the onerous task of righting some shit that was done and you think vanemabag avo vakangomirira drama yeZimbabwe, cash looks for friendly friends who can assure it a soft landing. Any right thinking person will tell you none of that team are successful business minds let alone people thats why they grab and masquerade ill gotten wealth for success shame nxa

Handei Mberi - 1 November 2013

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