Basikiti early this week mobilised hundreds of mostly orphaned children in his constituency and made them sign a petition demanding the immediate lifting of sanctions imposed by the west on his fellow Zanu (PF) members.
“This petition by the orphans, disabled and the disadvantaged groups in Mwenezi is a message to the British and American Governments and their western allies that …the sanctions you imposed on Zimbabwe and our leaders is affecting us directly here,” he told reporters at Neshuro growth point.
The petition which Basikiti said was this week going to be forwarded to the American and British Embassies in Harare read: “The suffering we are having today is a result of the debilitating sanctions which led to the deaths of our parents because they could not afford proper medication.”
Basikiti said the deaths of all parents of the children whom he used to campaign against sanctions was a result of lack of medication due to sanctions imposed by the west.
Zanu (PF) is using the issue of sanctions to lure support from the people whose rights it abused over the past decade.
The west imposed sanctions on more than 200 senior Zanu (PF) members in 2002 after the liberation party violated human and property rights through the controversial and chaotic land reform.
For the sanctions to be lifted the west has said Zanu (PF) should implement the Global Political Agreement it signed two years ago with the two MDC factions when the inclusive government was formed.
Zanu (PF) has refused further concessions with its rival the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) until sanctions are removed.
Addressing the Zanu (PF) people’s 11th conference in Mutare in December last year, President Robert Mugabe threatened to seize western companies operating in the country if sanctions remain.
Meanwhile Acting President John Nkomo said in Masvingo on Monday that the unity government could be extended to 2013 if sanctions were removed.
Although Mugabe has hinted he wants elections to be held mid year, this week there were reports that the polls could be delayed until a new constitution is in place.
A parliamentary committee led committee was last year running a process to gather views from the public on the new constitution of Zimbabwe amidst chaos and violence.
Nkomo told an anti-sanctions meeting for his party held at the Great Zimbabwe University (GZU): “We are now telling the MDC that they are the ones who called for sanctions, therefore they have to undo what they did if they do not want elections next year. We are not going to budge.”
“No sanctions removal means we are going to the polls-both parliamentary and presidential,” Nkomo said, much to the applause of the party supporters.