Zimbabweans living outside the country working in conjunction with Pastor Evan Mawarire’s #thisflag and Tajamuka-Sesijikile Campaign are planning to shut down all border posts borders starting on August 8th to protest against the government’s move to block the importation of some basic commodities under Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016.
One of the coordinators of the protest Joseph Chanakira of the Citizens of Zimbabwe Movement based in South Africa, said they will stage the protests in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania until Zimbabwe reverses the importation ban, which the government says only affects the bulk importation of some basic commodities.
There was no immediate reaction on this move from state officials in some of these nations and Zimbabwe.
Chanakira told Studio 7 that they have asked kombi and cross border bus operators, business people, civic society organizations and others to back the protests.
Buy Zimbabwe Campaign, a non-governmental lobbyist group, has applauded the gazetting of the statutory instrument stressing that it would go a long way in promoting the consumption of local products instead of cheap imports from other countries.
The instrument, which was suspended after shoppers rioted at the Beitbridge Border post pressing the state to drop the law, was effected a month ago.
Goods that now require a permit to be brought into the country include coffee creamers (Cremora), camphor creams, white petroleum jellies and body creams and goods categorized as builders’ ware like wheelbarrows structures and parts of structures of iron or steel (bridges and bridges section, lock gates, towers, lattice masts, roofs, roofing frameworks, doors, windows and their frames and threshold for doors, shutters, balustrade, pillars and columns) and plates, rods, angles, shapes section and tubes prepared for use in structures of iron and steel ware, were also on the list of the restricted products.
Included in the list is furniture, baked beans, potato crisps, cereals, bottled water, mayonnaise, salad cream, peanut butter, jams, maheu, canned fruits and vegetables, pizza base, yoghurts, flavoured milks, dairy juice blends, ice-creams, cultured milk and cheese.