Zanu-PF information director Tafadzwa Mugwadi and Labor Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) party president Linda Masariru blamed sanctions for the country’s economic decline during an interview on state-run Star FM’s Muriro On show on Monday, an angry listener blasted. .
Both were panelists, including economist Gift Mugano, invited to discuss whether Zimbabwe is capable of speaking with one voice on the contentious issue.
An unidentified listener, who hung up before giving his name and location when asked by host Linda Muriro, asked how those complaining about the sanctions could still afford top-of-the-line cars despite the restrictions, further arguing that they even have money to buy the same cars for their marauding youth.
“I have a problem with these people who say sanctions, sanctions, sanctions. Sanctions don’t even affect us, but corruption is the main problem that affects us. If you see the vehicles these people use, you will be amazed,” the caller said.
“They wouldn’t buy these cars if they were under sanctions, but they buy the most expensive cars even for their young people.”
In 2019, the ruling Zanu-PF allocated US$15 million to import SUVs for its Central Committee officials, and more are expected to be bought ahead of next year’s elections.
The party bought Isuzu, Ford Ranger and VW Amarok SUVs for officials, including 210 parliamentary candidates, county chairmen, women’s and youth league chairmen.
Debates about the sanctions have focused on whether or not they were targeted, whether they affected the people of Zimbabwe and whether they affected its economic prospects worse than corruption.
Masarira said countries under sanctions are fertile ground for corruption, blaming the restrictions for everything.
“There is rampant corruption in the country that is illegally sanctioned and it’s no secret, it’s a perfect breeding ground,” Masarira said.
“We cannot deny that corruption is thriving in Zimbabwe because it is, but we also cannot underline the effect and impact of the sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“Our problem is that some political parties in Zimbabwe have chosen to focus exclusively on corruption because they know that if people find out about the consequences of sanctions on their livelihoods, they will lose the protest vote that they are positioning.”