The Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs Cde Victor Matemadanda says it is high time progressive Zimbabweans rise up to denounce illegal sanctions.

This comes after the case which saw Standard Chartered Bank being charged US$18 million penalty for facilitating transactions involving Zimbabwe, laid bare that the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) is not targeted at a few individuals but seeks to make ordinary people suffer in a bid to effect regime change.

Cde Matemadanda described the latest Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) punishment on Standard Chartered as clear demonstration that ZIDERA is not about targeted individuals but a weapon of mass economical destruction and regime change which must be condemned at all cost.

“I call up all progressive Zimbabweans to rise and denounce sanctions, the case of Standard Chartered has exposed that sanctions by USA are a smokescreen to the hidden regime change agenda,” he said.

The Defence and War Veterans Affairs deputy minister warned that after a protracted liberation struggle to gain independence, Zimbabweans should be wary that neocolonialism is real, hence the need to join forces and burst the ugly, illegal sanctions head.

“Let’s join forces, we fought and won against the British imperialists, we should not hesitate to denounce and call for the unconditional removal of the embargo on top of our voices. ZIDERA is here to stay as a weapon to defend and protect the US interests so we will not hesitate to rise and defend our territory against such evil threats,” he warns.

The call for the removal of sanctions continues to intensify with SADC, African Union, human rights organisations such as the December 12 Movement and the church adding their voices for sanctions to go.

A local anti-sanctions lobby group has camped outside the new US Embassy in Westgate, Harare where they have vowed to stay put until the embargo is removed.