A newspaper advert by Barclays bank telling Zimbabweans to “take a stand and say enough is enough” has sparked controversy, with many people reading it as a political statement against the government.
“It’s time to take a stand. There comes a time when one says enough is enough. A time when one has to do the right thing. Stand up for what you believe in, your inner convictions,” the ad says.
“Stop making excuses and show your true courage. If not you then who? All of us collectively have a duty to stand up and be counted. We have taken a stand and we are standing firm.”
Some say the commercial reads like an instigation for Zimbabweans to revolt against the government that stands accused of running down the country’s once-vibrant economy, and failing to deliver on jobs.
Could Barclays really be taking a stand and telling President Robert Mugabe and his long-ruling Zanu PF government, ‘Enough is Enough?’
Absolutely not, says the bank’s head of marketing, Dennis Mambure
We launched a mortgage product which we are offering to all our customers; it has a tenure of 20 years and favorable interest rates. So we took a creative licence to use the word ‘stand’,” Mambure told Studio 7.
“As you would appreciate, for you to have a house, naturally it can’t be placed in the air, it has to sit on a stand. So essentially, we were saying to our customers ‘take a stand’, ‘take a house’.”
Discord is growing in Zimbabwe over the escalating economic and political crises, with widespread company closures, cash shortages in banks, record unemployment and declining wages.
Many people worry the country is sliding back to the decay that brought it to its knees in 2008, and would welcome any big voice that calls out the government.
Dabbling in Politics
But Barclays says it can’t be that voice because it has no business dabbling in politics.
“We are very apolitical as a bank and what we do best is serve our customers, sell them life-changing products like mortgages,” Mambure maintained.
“The decisions and communications that we make are solely for the pushing of our products for the benefit of our clients and customers.”