Govt dis­misses op­po­si­tion at­tacks on Pres­i­dent

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Tendai Mu­gabe

THE Gov­ern­ment has dis­missed as shal­low, at­tacks on Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe by op­po­si­tion func­tionar­ies fol­low­ing his week­end ad­dress at the air­port where he said Africa might con­sider pulling out of the United Na­tions if the con­ti­nent is not ac­corded two per­ma­nent seats in the world body’s Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s Press Sec­re­tary Mr Ge­orge Charamba said the op­po­si­tion ex­posed its lit­tle un­der­stand­ing of world af­fairs adding that the po­si­tion in ques­tion was a con­ti­nen­tal po­si­tion adopted in Swazi­land.

He said the agree­ment that was known as the Ezul­wini Con­sen­sus was not an in­ven­tion by Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe and it was shock­ing that the op­po­si­tion came to know of it through Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s week­end ad­dress.

“There has been a very shal­low re­sponse from the op­po­si­tion to the Pres­i­dent’s ad­dress at the air­port,” he said.

“Firstly, the Pres­i­dent was not de­vel­op­ing a new idea. He was merely rep­re­sent­ing the po­si­tion of Africa re­gard­ing changes we want to see hap­pen­ing in the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil. That po­si­tion is now known as the Ezul­wini Con­sen­sus. It was de­vel­oped in Swazi­land and we have spo­ken about it re­peat­edly.

“It’s a con­ti­nen­tal po­si­tion and that is what is go­ing to be Africa’s ne­go­ti­a­tion with the rest of the world in re­spect of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil re­forms.

“The In­di­ans have their po­si­tion, the Ja­panese have their own po­si­tion, Latin Amer­ica has its own po­si­tion – sim­i­larly Africa has its own po­si­tion, and it so hap­pens that the Pres­i­dent who was com­ing from the Gen­eral Assem­bly re­it­er­ated, not in­vented, re­it­er­ated the po­si­tion of Africa.”

He con­tin­ued: “Our well-ed­u­cated op­po­si­tion peo­ple who seem pa­thet­i­cally ig­no­rant of world af­fairs, dis­cov­ered Africa’s po­si­tion for the first time from the Pres­i­dent’s air­port ad­dress. And they dare present their own pa­thetic views on the mat­ter.

“It’s not a do­mes­tic is­sue. It’s a con­ti­nen­tal is­sue, and Africa has taken a po­si­tion on the mat­ter. The Pres­i­dent was talk­ing about his peers – Pres­i­dents of Africa not about puny lit­tle op­po­si­tion peo­ple here. Lit­tle politi­cians here are not his in­ter­locu­tors at that level. He is talk­ing con­ti­nen­tal, he is talk­ing global. Be­fore they open their mouths, they must just pass the test of rel­e­vance in terms of dis­course.”

Mr Charamba said Africa’s po­si­tion was that the con­ti­nent should get two seats with veto if veto was kept, or two seats with­out veto if the veto was abol­ished.

“We are pre­pared to press very, very hard for that out­come and, ‘we’ means Africa,” he said.

“It does not mean Zim­babwe, ex­cept the fact that Zim­babwe is part of Africa. Re­ally, the sub-text we are get­ting from the op­po­si­tion is that they are the West’s skip­pers. They dare ar­gue for the West. They dare ar­gue for the P5 (five per­ma­nent mem­bers of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil), as if the P5 has no ca­pac­ity to an­swer for it­self and it’s very much in char­ac­ter.

“They have never as op­po­si­tion taken a na­tional po­si­tion let alone a con­ti­nen­tal one. They have al­ways been pan­der­ing to a West­ern idea and they think the P5 needs their res­cue. It doesn’t.”

Fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe’s ad­dress at the air­port, mem­bers of var­i­ous op­po­si­tion po­lit­i­cal par­ties took turns at­tack­ing the Head of State and Gov­ern­ment say­ing his views were not in or­der.

They in­ter­preted his ad­dress as Zim­babwe’s lone po­si­tion when it comes to the re­forms of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

Mr Ge­orge Charamba

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