Govt exposes US envoy hypocrisy
AMERICAN Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Harry Thomas Jr is a hypocrite who rushes to castigate local law enforcement agents for using minimum force to quell illegal demonstrations but turns a blind eye when police officers in his country kill his kith and kin, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe said the callous killing of a disabled black American, Keith Lamonte Scott, in North Carolina in the United States on Tuesday was clear testimony of how the American ambassador has no moral ground to criticise Zimbabwe when police use tear gas and water cannons to crush illegal demonstrations.
Dr Mushohwe’s remarks follow a string of shootings of black people by American police that have stoked outrage in most parts of the US.
The killing of Scott came just a few days after a white police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the US, again killed another black man Terence Crutcher whom video evidence indicates that he was raising his hands above his head to show the police that he was not armed.
Said Dr Mushohwe yesterday: “The issue of the wanton killing of African-Americans and the Latinos in the US is a very common feature. In fact, it happens almost every week.
“But the African-Americans just like our dear ambassador (Mr Thomas Jr) here do not open their eyes to those callous slaughter of people of colour.”
He said statistics indicated that American police had killed hundreds of AfricanAmericans and Latinos in the last two years alone.
Dr Mushohwe said it is therefore disturbing that Ambassador Thomas Jr rushes to castigate the police here when they use water cannons and teargas on illegal demonstrators who loot shops and destroy property.
“When the American ambassador, for example, accredited to this great nation stands up and condemns us because water cannons have been used on some people and not talk about the cold-blooded and callous murder of people of his colour in his own home-backyard then you begin to wonder whether this is not a racist comment. It’s no longer to do with human rights.
“We would expect the American ambassador to make sure that he talks about the evil, brutal slaughter of African-Americans in the United States and condemn his Government not to just come here and try to meddle into our internal affairs.
“We know who these people are when they come here, we are compelled to believe that they come here with an agenda to cause regime change. They send a character of the ambassador who is an AfricanAmerican to come here.
“He has a short nose like ours and one would think that he thinks like an African. But no, when a white police officer shoots a man or woman of colour back in his home country, to him it does not matter. But if you take a bucket of water and throw it at the opposition here then it becomes a criminal offence.
“We want to hear these people if they are really concerned about human rights and democracy condemn what is happening in the United States. What even makes it worse is that those who are complaining by and large are even white but a man of colour who sees his brother being callously shot and a disabled person for that matter does not,” said Dr Mushohwe.
He added that it was strange that some of the harshest critics of police actions in Zimbabwe did not condemn the destruction of Government property and looting of shops of ordinary people trying to eke a living.
Mr Harry Thomas Jr