PICTURE dozens of placard-wielding school children in the heart of Victoria Falls marching under the sweltering sun.
Or a group of anti-sanctions campaigners outside the US Embassy in Harare, singing their voices hoarse.
And not to forget revellers caught in ecstasy of a free show inside Aqcuatic Complex in Chitungwiza, while some apparently ‘danced’ sanctions away.
These are among several festivities to mark Anti-Sanctions Day around Zimbabwe as President Emmerson Mnangagwa battles to end economic measures imposed by western countries at the turn of the century.
A heartbreaking photo of placard wielding children posing for a photo also surfaced online.
Their innocent faces tell a story of confusion-most here-have no idea what role they play in the chess game-maybe as pawns.
Mooted four years ago, the Anti-Sanctions Day is a desperate effort to arm-twist the west into dropping sanctions.
Having blown a golden opportunity to end Zimbabwe’s pariah status in 2017 when he took over following a military putsch, Mnangagwa has resorted Robert Mugabe-like default.
“Shout yourself hoarse”, with no one paying attention is what the Zimbabwean leader has done for the past four years.
Roping in like-minded African leaders like Botswana President ,Mokgwetsi Masisi and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, among others Mnangagwa has also sort sympathy and solidarity around sanctions.
The recently held UN Summit almost turned into an Anti-Sanctions chorus, as he basked in solidarity.
Back home Mnangagwa has been relentless in his quest to end Zimbabwe’s paraiah status, albeit through unconventional and diplomatically unproven methods.
The Anti-Sanctions Day has become another charade.
While most countries with sour relations with the west, seek engagement, Zimbabwe spends lavishly on a gala.
Artist after artist they belted the crowd’s favourite tune.
Even top Zanu PF chefs joined on the dance floor while other smiled ear to ear in amusement after an eventful day.
Anti sanctions march in Zimbabwe, another charade
Analysts argue that Mnangagwa’s anti-sanctions charade, including rallies and marches devoid of concrete political reforms, is senseless escapism from what the government ought to do to convince the West to remove restrictive measures which have hung over the country since 2000.
The Anti-Sanctions Day is therefore a failure to appreciate diplomatic processes and the international community, how it operates and the concept of sanctions itself.
Foreign Affairs Minister Frederick Shava has performed dismally since taking over the ministry from the late Sibusiso Moyo early next year.
Apart from his mute demeanour, Shava lacks the charm to bring the west to the negotiating table.
Despite his experience at UN, Shava has not managed to engage foreign ministers of either UK or US, let alone speak pertinent issues like his predecessor.
Shava has failed Mnangagwa’s re-engagement drive.
It is an absolute disgrace that President Joe Biden purpotedly promised to send a “junior staffer” to meet Mnangagwa when they bumped into each other at CoP26 in Glasgow.
At that time, all Mnangagwa managed to only score photo opportunities with some world leaders.
On Tuesday Zimbabwe maintained its combative stance against western embassies in Zimbabwe.
A Twitter war played out between government apologists and Western embassies, including the US, UK and EU embassies.
The embassies’ online teams also worked extra shifts defending their tough stance on Zimbabwe, while Zanu PF and its anti-sanctions foot soldiers spent their Tuesday denouncing the so-called “enemy” for maintaining sanctions on Zimbabwe.
The #it’snotsanctions ran by the US embassy dismissed government’s argument that sanctions were the major cause for economic suffering.
Western embassies, mainly the US, maintain that it is actually corruption and a disregard for the rule of law that have ruined the economy. They maintain that the sanctions on several Zanu PF cadres and their cohorts do not affect the generality of Zimbabweans.
But Zanu PF argues that Zimbabwe’s problems stem from the punitive sanctions regime.
Mnangagwa who is set to retain leadership of Zanu PF on Saturday knows exactly what needs to be done.