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Who Is  Rutendo

Rutendo Benson Matinyarare is a renowned Zimbabwean anti-sanctions activist who is the Chairperson of Zimbabwe Anti-Sanctions Movement (ZASM) and founder of Zimbabweans Unite Against US War Sanctions (ZUAUWS).


His anti-sanctions activism is driven by his position as a brand architect, marketing strategist and CEO of a through-the-line marketing & brand consultancy known as Frontline Start Marketing Consultancy.


Rutendo has been in marketing for over 25 years and has developed the knack of telling a good story. He is a fellow of the Institute of Marketing Management of South African alongside the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK) and a PRINCE 2 Project Management Practitioner who can make unpopular issues mainstream, without a budget, as he has done with sanctions.

Over the past 3 years, this patriotic Zimbabwean has been an integral part of Zimbabwe’s fight against US, UK and EU sanctions on the country, after convincing the government to depoliticize its fight against this economic war by launching a national, regional and continental, legal and publicity campaign against these crimes against humanity. 

Through an aggressive social media drive and endless proposals to the government, he also pressured the creation of the Patriotic Act , to punish unpatriotic citizens who collaborate with foreign governments to attack their country, in contravention of their constitutional responsibilities.


Additionally, his public narrative on how US, EU, and UK sanctions are persecution and thus crimes against humanity that should be challenged in multilateral bodies and international courts, saw US personnel contacting him in May 2021, to seek clarity on his position. Rutendo gladly articulated the illegality of the sanctions and the culpability of the US government for not undertaking any impact assessment of their sanctions on human rights in Zimbabwe over the past 20 years.


Not too long after [in July 2021], for the first time in 20 years [since imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe], the US Congress Subcommittee on Global Human Rights, Health and Organization approached POLAD to inform them that they will be undertaking an impact assessment of their sanctions on human rights and health, in not only Zimbabwe but the whole of Africa, with the intention of eliminating the impact of sanctions on civilians.


After years of the United States insisting that their sanctions do not affect civilians, the US Congress had for the first time tacitly acknowledged that their sanctions impact civilians, through this human rights and health impact assessment.


The same day they received the communique from Congress, members of POLAD’s anti-sanctions committee, contacted Rutendo to ask him to assist them with information to compile a doccie on the impact US sanctions have on Zimbabwean human rights and health.

In addition, on the 27th of October 2021, Rutendo got into a public debate with the US deputy ambassador, Thomas Hastings, and got him to admit on record, that US sanctions were extrajudicial, lacked due process, were inconsistent with international law and potentially affected civilians.


Subsequently, journalist Hopewell Chinóno who was conducting the debate, has removed the embarrassing performance by the US ambassador, from the recording of the debate which he posted on YouTube.


Another dignitary who was also embarrassed in the debate was the EU ambassador, Mr Olkkonen, who failed to address a single question that Rutendo put to him on the illegality of EU sanctions. Instead, he tried in vain to say the EU has no sanctions on Zimbabwean citizens until Rutendo reminded him that the EU was included as a part of ZDERA by Donald Trump in 2018.


Rutendo has successfully exposed the illegality of western sanctions on Zimbabwe and it is a matter of time before they are removed by the sanctions senders due to a lack of moral justification or fear of the legal action ZASM and ZUAUWS are launching against these sanctions.


As part of his competencies, Rutendo has extensive experience as a TV presenter on SABC for Africa Within, Walk the plank, playing roles in a number of TV commercials and twisting hostile interviews on Zimbabwe into opportunities to tell the untold Zimbabwe story. As a result of his ability to turn hostile interviews into infomercials on Zimbabwe, most South African media have banned him from their channels.


Rutendo's key competencies are knowing how to tell a good story.

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