Government warns Western embassies against political interference
THE Government has warned foreign envoys against meddling in local politics, saying that was not on their terms of reference.
Responding to statements issued last week by the United States and Canadian embassies to Zimbabwe on recent violent demonstrations by the opposition, the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Dr Christopher Mushohwe, yesterday said the ambassadors betrayed clear hostility towards the Government of Zimbabwe, and a sinister partiality for the opposition.
He said both embassies were not in Zimbabwe to involve themselves in the domestic affairs of Zimbabwe, let alone to interfere with, or take sides in local politics or even to give themselves an imperious role of judging Zimbabwean politics.
“Zimbabwe is a sovereign State which is equal to any other in the world, including the US and Canada, whatever illusions ambassadors of those two countries here may harbour in their minds. Beyond diplomatic relations as regulated by the Vienna Conventions, there is nothing else that gives governments of those two countries or their emissaries here any special claim to our politics, or a judgmental role on occurrences here.
“Their statements last week were not only unacceptably repugnant, but vainly suggested their governments play father figure to a sovereign state, as if Zimbabwe is under some kind of joint US-Canadian trusteeship. For the record, Zimbabwe gained its Independence in 1980 following a national liberation struggle which never enjoyed an iota of support from the West,” Dr Mushohwe said.
He said Zimbabwe, being a sovereign State, was equal to any other in the world, and was free to pursue its own national policies as supported by its democratically elected sitting Government.
Dr Mushohwe said Zimbabwe took no orders from any foreign state — big or small, far or near — in the pursuit of its politics, policies and decisions.
“The US government, with more than a decade of a raft of punitive measures it took to unilaterally sanction Zimbabwe, is the least qualified to lecture Zimbabwe on welfare issues relating to Zimbabwean citizens. Through those illegal sanctions, the US government has undermined the Zimbabwean economy, thereby bringing untold suffering to the people of Zimbabwe.
“The US thus should never be allowed to blame the Zimbabwe Government for effects of its spiteful policies here. The least the US Ambassador Harry Thomas here can do, is to keep his mouth shut, instead of compounding the crimes of his government against the people of Zimbabwe by parading false piety,” he said.
Dr Mushohwe said Western governments, including those of the US and Canada, did not support the constitutionmaking process when it was underway but were hostile to it.
“Today, they cannot remind us of provisions of the same law they opposed only yesterday or stand as watchdogs over its daily observance here. In any case, before both ambassadors issue out their condescendingly sick statements on local politics, and on the upholding of human rights here, let them pause a while to examine their home environments where rights of men and women of colour, and rights of indigenous populations, are daily wantonly trampled upon by their own governments with absolutely no recourse to countless victims,” he said.
Dr Mushohwe said hardly a month ago, more and more African-Americans were shot and killed in cold blood by the US police but the ambassador, who was himself an AfricanAmerican, remained silent on the issue.
“Why did he not write home to remind his own government on the need to uphold the rights of fellow blacks back home? Or resign in protest to vindicate his claim to commitment to human rights? Such rank hypocrisy is not only sickening but, for the American Ambassador, amounts to complicity with his government in a war against his own kind. Let not those with logs in their eyes seek to cure imaginary specks in African eyes,” he said.
Last week, the United States Embassy, Canada and Australia issued separate statements supporting the protests and condemning law enforcements agents for maintaining peace and order by arresting illegal protesters.
“The United States is troubled by the economic policies and financial strains that have prompted numerous recent protests in Zimbabwe and we join many Zimbabweans in their deep concern over reports of violence during some of the protests,” reads a statement released by the US embassy in Harare.
The US embassy also said it was “monitoring recent threats to crack down on activists using social media”.
On the other hand, the Canadian embassy said: “The Embassy of Canada to Zimbabwe is increasingly concerned with reports of violence and human rights violations in response to public protest.
“The Embassy of Canada calls for calm and stresses the importance of peaceful dialogue. The Embassy of Canada reiterates its call on all stakeholders to respect the Constitution of Zimbabwe, in particular the freedom to peacefully demonstrate, the right to personal liberty, the right to personal security and the rights of arrested and detained persons,” read the statement.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary and Presidential spokesperson, Mr George Charamba, warned opposition elements that Government would come down hard on protesters who seek to destroy the country.
Speaking to ZBCTv, Mr Charamba said Government would not allow another demonstration that the opposition groups were planniPnrgi Fdridaanyd.