Thousands in Zimbabwe denounce US sanctions

People marched in Harare in protest at US and Western sanctions against Zimbabwean leaders.

Iran Press/Africa: Thousands of Zimbabweans have rallied in support of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's call on the United States and the European Union to lift sanctions imposed against him and dozens of other officials over alleged human rights abuses and electoral fraud.

Friday's rally in Harare as part of a government-organized day of action to denounce Western sanctions, which Mnangagwa says have "crippled" Zimbabwe's development, Aljazeera reported.

He declared Friday a public holiday, and government supporters from across the country were bussed into the capital early in the morning for a day-long festival, including a march, a football match between Zimbabwe's most popular clubs and a concert. 

Members of Zimbabwe's opposition dismissed the protests as a propaganda exercise designed to distract from the government's handling of the crisis-ridden economy.

Clad in white t-shirts, Mnangagwa's supporters sang songs and chanted "down with sanctions" as they kicked off the "Anti-Sanctions Day" with a rally from the Robert Mugabe square to the national sports stadium, a five-kilometer (three-mile) walk.

The demonstrators, who were given food and drinks, carried placards describing Western measures as "evil" and "weapon of mass destruction to mankind". 


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