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Zimbabwe Dismisses America's Claims of Interference in Public Protests Over Death of George Flyod


People take part in a Black Lives Matter protest in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Monday, June 1, 2020, to protest against the recent killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, U.S.A., after being restrained by police officers on Memorial Day. (AP)

Zimbabwe has dismissed as baseless claims by United States president Donald Trump’s top security advisor that the southern African nation is among some countries that are fueling current public protests in USA following the death of a black person, George Flyod, in the hands of the police.

In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo, who summoned U.S Ambassador to Zimbabwe over remarks made by National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, said his country is not an adversary of the United States.

“On behalf of the government, I have informed the US Ambassador that Mr Obrien’s allegations are false, without any factual foundation whatsoever and that they are deeply damaging to a relationship already complicated by years of prescriptive megaphone diplomacy and punitive economic sanctions.

“Zimbabwe is not and never has been an adversary of the United States of America. Even in the face of repeated interference in our own internal affairs, Zimbabwe has been unwavering in its support for Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter which expressly urges all member states to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of other states.”

Moyo further noted that Zimbabwe was currently seeking to normalize relations with USA following the imposition of targeted sanctions on some Zanu PF officials over claims of human rights abuses and election rigging.

“I informed the ambassador that Zimbabwe seeks a normal, cooperative relationship with the USA based on mutual understanding, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs … the very opposite of the characterization voiced by Mr. O’Brien. I informed the ambassador that the government of Zimbabwe derives no pleasure at all from the scenes of violence and hatred which have erupted in cities and towns across the United States of America.”

He condemned the manner in which Flyod died, adding that the current protests in USA are worrying. “We unreservedly condemn the violence, arson and looting which have turned usually quiet neighborhoods into scenes of chaos and destruction and where, tragically, further innocent lives have been lost.”

At the same time, USA Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian Nichols, confirmed that he was summoned by Moyo.

Nichols said he urged the Zimbabwean government to respect the rule of law following the recent abduction of three Movement for Democratic Change Alliance by suspected state security agents and previous disappearances of some local people.

“… I again urged Zimbabwe’s government to end state-sponsored violence against peaceful protesters, civil society, labor leaders and members of the opposition in Zimbabwe, and to hold accountable those responsible for human rights abuses.”

He said America and Zimbabwe’s constitutions have provisions allowing people to exercise their right to freedom of speech and peaceful protests. “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.

“Yet peaceful protesters Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova were arrested, assaulted and left for dead. To those who deny America’s right to speak out on their fate, let me remind you ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere … Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly’.”

Nichols indicated that Flyod’s death has filled Americans with horror and anger.

“Every American official from our president to Minneapolis’ African American Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has vowed to deliver justice. Zimbabweans surely wonder when, after so many years, Patrick Nabanyana, Itai Dzamara and Paul Chizuze will get justice. Americans will continue to speak out for justice whether at home or abroad. We can meet the ideals of our founding, we will change this world for the better.”

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