Preparations for the SADC Anti-Sanctions Gala set for the Harare International Conference Centre this evening are at an advanced stage, with a number of top artistes set to perform.
Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Chief Director – Government Programmes and Messaging, Jonathan Gandari, said the gala was important as it was in line with the SADC calls for the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe to be removed unconditionally.
“This day is important for Zimbabwe and the entire SADC region as it is a day we joined our brothers and sisters in calling for the unconditional removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West,” he said.
“The sanctions have a negative impact on the country’s capabilities of mobilising resources for building a resilient economy.”
At least 14 artistes are expected to perform at the gala due to Covid-19 restrictions, which require a limited number of people at any given time.
Limited seats will be provided at the venue too, for audiences, with the rest of music lovers and patriotic citizens following proceedings virtually.
Some of the artistes expected to perform at the gala are Sandra Ndebele, Rockford Josphat, commonly known as Roki, Suluman Chimbetu and Freeman.
Roki is presently the talk of town after his latest offering “Patati Patata”, which features legendary rhumba maestro Koffi Olomide, went viral.
The Anti-Sanctions Solidarity Day was declared in 2019 during the 39th summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government held in Tanzania.
Meanwhile, the Harare Athletics Board and administrators from different National Sport Associations are organising a half marathon against sanctions set for today in Chitungwiza.
Sanctions have affected all aspects of human life in Zimbabwe, including the arts and sports sectors.
Sport associations have failed to access training equipment, while even touring teams find Zimbabwe listed as an unsafe destination, eventually being pushed to cancel trips to the country.
England and Australian cricket teams haven’t toured Zimbabwe in a decade and even refused to play in Zimbabwe during the 2013 Cricket World Cup.
This is despite the peace prevailing in the country and no terrorist threats posed to the visiting teams.
The sanctions have stopped Zimbabwean teams from playing who they want to play and they are also failing to get support from international associations, hence the push by sports associations to have the sanctions removed urgently.
The 21km half marathon is set to start at Harava in Chitungwiza. — Additional reporting: ZBC News.