Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
THE Government yesterday dismissed the characterisation of Zimbabwe as an adversary of the United States seeking to take advantage of the current unrest in that country to sow discord and damage their democracy.
At the weekend, the US national security advisor Mr Robert O’Brien listed Zimbabwe among the countries seeking to take advantage of widespread protests in the US and beyond following the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of a white police officer last week.
Yesterday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Dr Sibusiso Moyo summoned the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe to raise concern with Mr O’Brien’s sentiments.
“On behalf of Government, I have today informed the US Ambassador that Mr O’Brien’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,” said Dr Moyo in a statement after the meeting.
“Zimbabwe is not and never has been an adversary of the United States of America.”
Dr Moyo said even in the face of repeated interference in the country’s internal affairs, Zimbabwe has been unwavering in its support for Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter.
The Article urges all member states to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of other states.
“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 characterisation voiced by Mr O’Brien,” said Dr Moyo.
“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.”
Dr Moyo said while Zimbabwe joins the African Union and the United Nations in condemning the killing of Mr Floyd, “an unarmed, handcuffed, helpless black man,” the country condemns the violence, arson and looting resulting in the loss of more innocent lives.
He expressed hope that the situation in the US calms down, civilian law enforcement agencies and paramilitary units conduct themselves with maximum restraint while community persuade citizens to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner.
“We take due note of the measures deployed by the US authorities to deal with the challenges currently confronting them.
“At the same time, we recall the harsh US criticism and condemnation of our own response to multiple instances of illegal, violent civil unrest incited, largely, by opposition political formations determined to render the country ungovernable; we recall their automatic presumption of state culpability in instances of alleged abduction, and their assumption of an institutionalised disregard for human rights or rule of law within our Government; and we reflect on the lack of balance and even the double standards so evident in US policy towards Zimbabwe,” said Dr Moyo.
“With regard to our bilateral relationship with the United States of America, our hope, going forward, is that the US might take a more even-handed and less prescriptive approach; that it might acknowledge the reform efforts and progress being made by the New Dispensation — very significant challenges notwithstanding — and that it might seek to engage in a more open, more sincere and more practical dialogue about how our Governments can work together for the benefit of both nations and peoples.”
Dr Moyo also expressed gratitude for the support provided by the United States of America towards the ongoing battle against Covid-19 and other health challenges, and in bolstering national food security.