Lift sanctions against Zim, Wade tells West
By Peter Matambanadzo and Zvamaida Murwira
SENEGALESE President Abdoulaye Wade has urged Western countries to lift the illegal sanctions they imposed against Zimbabwe and called on fellow African countries to solidly support the southern African State.Addressing journalists through an interpreter after laying a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National Heroes Acre yesterday, Mr Wade said Britain, France and their allies should lift the sanctions forthwith.
"When I go back home, I will ask for the sanctions to be lifted. They are not fair on the Zimbabwean people. They are infringing the people," he said. At a State banquet hosted in his honour by President Mugabe on Wednesday night, the Senegalese leader said he would lobby other African countries at the EU-Africa Summit in Portugal next week to press for the removal of the embargo.
"I think it is not right because the sanctions against Zimbabwe seem to be very arbitrary. We should find a way to see that these sanctions are alleviated," he said.Yesterday, Mr Wade expressed confidence in Zimbabwe saying its future was bright and with the support of fellow African countries, it would prosper.
"I am optimistic in the future of Zimbabwe. There are a lot of things about Zimbabwe . . . I am going back home with a feeling, we as African people should help the people of Zimbabwe."Zimbabwe deserves more support from African countries. We should rally behind Zimbabwe," he said. Mr Wade said the Zimbabwean problem was an African problem, which should be collectively addressed by Africans.
He said the ongoing talks between Zanu-PF and two factions of the opposition MDC showed that democracy was alive in Zimbabwe. Mr Wade took a swipe at the Western media for mis-leading the world and distorting the true situation in Zimbabwe. "The Western media has distorted what has been happening in Zimbabwe. What’s in the media is not true because they describe Zimbabwe as a country where there is permanent uprising of people. They say President Mugabe is weak and has no support when President Mugabe does have support," he said.
The Senegalese leader described his visit as an eye opener and added that the information he had been supplied by the British Ambassador in Senegal and from the Internet on the situation in Zimbabwe had turned out to be false.Mr Wade toured the national shrine led by the National Museums and Monuments curator Mr Lovemore Mandima.Mr Mandima explained to Mr Wade the significance of the national shrine and gave a synopsis of the liberation struggle.
Mr Wade described his tour of the shrine as emotional.He visited the graves of the late First Lady Amai Sally Mugabe and Vice Presidents Joshua Nkomo and Simon Muzenda.
Mr Wade said he knew Cde Nkomo and had met him and other Zimbabwean and several fellow African nationalists in 1959 when he was in London. He saluted the nationalists who fought for Zimbabwe’s independence. Mr Wade returned home yesterday and was seen off at Harare International Airport by President Mugabe, Cabinet ministers and senior Government officials.