The majority of villagers in Buhera believe that this country is going down not because of sanctions but corruption.
The Mirror did a vox pop with villagers soon after Zanu PF and aligned organizations staged demonstrations in the district against sanctions which they blamed for the economic meltdown of the country.
It was surprising that even villagers who participated in the demonstrations believed that the economic decline of Zimbabwe had little to do with sanctions.
The villagers urged President Mnangagwa to remove all senior Government officials implicated in corruption as a way of improving the economy.
In Buhera the demonstrations were held on October 25 and demonstrators moved from Chain business centre to Murambinda Growth Point where they were led by ZANU PF district leadership.
Addressing the demonstrators district Chairperson Causemore Chimombe said sanctions were hurting the economy and needed to be removed unconditionally.
Chimombe read a speech on behalf of Manicaland ZANU PF Provincial Chairperson Mike Madiro.
The Zimbabwe Government has set aside October 26 of each year as a day to call for the removal of sanctions against the country. The sanctions were imposed by the USA, European union and Britain targeting individuals in government for abusing human rights, corruption and misgovernance.
The American Government insists that sanctions are not against the country but individuals and institutions that rank high in human rights abuses.
Tawanda Gwebu who participated in the march said that there was endemic corruption in Government and the private sector and it was the source of the country’s economic problems.
“Corruption has destroyed the economy and has taken away the little moral fabric of our society” said Gwebu.
Buhera entrepreneur who requested anonymity said corruption is rife in government more than in the private sector.
“Institutions which are supposed to deal with corruption must be adequately resourced and allowed to operate independently to bring culprits to book” he said.
Laiton Marambanyika from Marambanyika village under Chief Nyashanu said while sanctions affect individual strategic institutions that are key in economic development, it was corruption by well connected politicians that have destroyed the economy.
“Connected people in government and outside have formed cartels that are stealing from government and this will take time to break” Marambanyika told The Mirror.
Edwin Gamanya who stays at Murambinda Growth Point said mismanagement of the country’s resources and political patronage are contributing to economic decay.
A village head in Buhera West who declined to be named said it is corruption which is contributing significantly high to the problems the country is currently facing.
Winmore Mafuruse, a sex worker at the growth point said they were forced to demonstrate but they believed sanctions was rhetoric.
“Its a rhetoric mantra. Its corruption that have taken us to this point and clients are nolonger paying as they used to do.
Economist Andrew Muchingami told The Mirror that the sanctions mantra is a scapegoat measure to hide misgovernance, corruption, incompetency by individuals in government.
“They are just trying to hide the truth and waste tax payers’ money through these demonstrations, ” said Muchingami.
ZANU PF activist, Tandirai Mugadza however, said sanctions were real and hurting the economy and therefore should be removed.
“The sanctions are hurting vulnerable people and therefore must be unconditionally removed,” Mugadza said.