President Museveni attended and presided over as chief guest at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo stadium, Bulawayo city.
He toured several stalls and exhibitions with variety of products made locally by Zimbabweans.
He also awarded the best farmers at the exhibition, presented a trophy to Zimbabwe Police and Defence forces respectively for their excellent displays.
Speaking to the crowd in Bulawayo Stadium, Museveni called for African Unity and lambasted the idea of sanctions by external forces as ‚Äėcowardly‚Äô.
‚ÄúWhy put sanctions? When somebody is wrong, leave him; they will fail by their own mistakes. When you put sanctions on them, that means you are not sure of them. I appeal for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúAlso this is a problem of us Africans, we don‚Äôt work closely together. If somebody puts sanctions on one of us, we also put sanctions on them. I don‚Äôt agree with those who say Africa is much weaker to work together. OAU and the frontline countries worked together to support the struggles for freedom in South Africa. If we discussed closely and cognately we can have a greater impact,‚ÄĚ he said.
He revealed that he and his Zimbabwean counterpart President Mnangangwa discussed the issue of exporting raw materials.
‚ÄúThis issue of production and exporting raw materials is costing us. Only 30% is retained while 70% is exported. This means exporting jobs and incomes. Export of raw materials is a challenge,‚ÄĚ he said.
He gave the example of a country losing jobs and income through the export of unprocessed cotton. He observed that when the product is exported in its raw form, it fetches only US $ 1 as compared to a price of US $ 16 per Kg of the processed cotton products.
‚ÄúBut be of good cheer, don‚Äôt be discouraged. If we move together, we can move further,‚ÄĚ he said.