Gweru — LIBERATION movements from the Southern Development Community have called for the unconditional lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and the Zanu-PF leadership by the West, stressing the party was on the right path towards sustainably empowering its citizens.
Giving solidarity messages during the 13th Zanu-PF Annual People's Conference in Gweru, on Friday the movements described the sanctions as inhuman and barbaric.
African National Congress executive committee member in charge of policy and South Africa's Justice Minister, Mr Jeff Hadebe, said it was the duty of every government to work towards the total economic emancipation of its citizens.
"We were in the trenches with all liberation movements fighting for the independence of our countries and we must now join hands in fighting for the economic empowerment of our people . . . Freedom without economic emancipation is meaningless. We should continue to chart our own economic development path autonomously. Zanu-PF must chart its economic emancipation without any outside influence. The economic policies should benefit the people of Zimbabwe," he said.
Mr Hadebe took a swipe at those who say liberation movements no longer have a place in the governance of their countries, saying those pushing that agenda should be condemned with the contempt they deserve.
"To those who are saying liberation movements have no place in the post-independence era, we say down with them. The new political forces seek to hoodwink us to believe that there is no solution to poverty and economic challenges facing African countries. Freedom should not be an illusion. We are confident that the synergies that we have as liberation movements will help us to achieve all our goals," he said.
Mr Hadebe said Zimbabwe was blessed to have a dynamic and iconic leader like President Mugabe. "I was listening to President Mugabe when he delivered his speech in the morning and I was fascinated by the revolutionary fire which he still possesses. In 1977 when I was in exile in Tanzania, I had to walk for 10km to hear President Mugabe delivering his speech and he is still as firebrand as before," he said.
Other liberation movements like Chama chaMapinduzi of Tanzania, Frelimo (Mozambique), MPLA (Angola) and Swapo (Namibia) also gave solidarity messages and said they would continue working closely with Zanu-PF in pushing programmes that benefit indigenous Africans.