The Zimbabwean government has expressed shock over remarks attributed to American president Donald Trump, who allegedly called Haiti and Africa “shithole countries”, while attending a meeting with Republican and Democratic party representatives, focusing on the country’s immigration issues.
According to the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and Herald newspaper, which quoted a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zimbabwean authorities say the remarks have “shocked and dismayed us”.
The ministry, headed by Retired Major General Sibusiso Moyo, said, “The USA is a prominent country of which the world expects the best example in its projection of democratic values, commitment to the fight against bigotry, upholding the civil rights of all of its people and generosity towards the less fortunate countries in the world.
“We join fellow African countries and others in rejecting this unfortunate characterisation of our peoples and countries. We all desire the amplification of positive relations with the USA, and would hope that care will be taken going forward to avoid jeopardising prospects for those relations through such hurtful and prejudicial language from any official quarter in the USA.”
The Zimbabwean government, according to the state-controlled media, believes in international relations based on acceptance, respect and “values that serve and demonstrate the human family at its best.
“Bigotry and hate speech must find no place in contemporary statecraft and diplomatic discourse.”
Several African leaders and the African Union have condemned the remarks and urged Mr. Trump to apologize. But Trump, who claims that he is not a racist, says he never used such language during an Oval Office meeting on immigration last Thursday.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that President Trump, asked whether he wanted more immigrants from Norway, said on Tuesday that he wanted the United States to draw immigrants from nations around the world.
“I want them to come in from everywhere,” Trump told reporters. U.S. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said last week that Trump had repeatedly use the word “shithole” when speaking about African countries and the Caribbean nation