President Robert Mugabe on Wed-nesday officiated at a mass rally in Harare where a petition to have the European Union (EU) and United States sanctions targeted at about 200 individuals and some state- owned companies lifted.
The MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the anti-sanctions campaign was an excuse to unleash violence on voters ahead of elections expected later this year.
“If a leopard wants to eat its cubs, it first accuses them of smelling like a goat,” said MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa.
“If it’s the issue of sanctions why are we beating each other? Why are we forcing people to attend meetings? Why are we terrorising each other in the villages?”
Chamisa said Zanu PF was good at finding excuses for problems it was causing and never took responsibility.
His sentiments were echoed by Welshman Ncube, the leader of the smaller MDC faction who said Zanu PF was actually working hard to see to it that the embargo stays.
“Zanu PF needs sanctions,” Ncube said. “Zanu PF’s strategy is to have the sanctions continue being re-enforced so that they can beat us up, so that they won’t fully implement the outstanding issues on the Global Political Agreement.
“Imagine if there were no sanctions. What would their election campaign be about.”
Gibbs Kamba-Gotora, who leads a little-known Zimbabwe Organised Political Party (Zoopp) said Zanu PF was trying to hide behind the sanctions instead of taking responsibility for its shortcomings.
“Zoopp will not join the petition frenzy because this action does not answer to dictates of common sense and understanding,” Gotora said.
Ibbo Mandaza, a political analyst said Zanu PF was trying to create a campaign platform and would thrive on the misinformation to confuse the masses.
“They are capitalising on that to exaggerate and create this scenario where they are blaming everything on the sanctions,” he said. “If the EU and America are to remove the sanctions Zanu PF would be hard put.”
Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said they would not have taken the pain to launch the petition if they did not want the sanctions to go.