Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
ZANU-PF yesterday said the racial killing of a black unarmed man by US police despite pleas that he was chocking symbolises the nation’s attitude towards the people of colour hence their equally chocking sanctions against Zimbabwe and other targeted countries.
In a press conference at the party’s headquarters in Harare, Zanu-PF acting secretary for information and publicity Cde Patrick Chinamasa said after the callous murder of George Floyd last Monday, the US cannot continue claiming to be a champion of human rights.
“Zanu-PF joins the world over, in condemning the callous murder of a black American man, George Floyd, at the hands of white USA police. The most chilling and devoid of humanity are the circumstances surrounding the killing of this innocent black man who pleaded with his murderers to stop choking him because he could not breathe anymore but they kept on lynching him onto the ground until he passed out,” said Cde Chinamasa.
“Zanu-PF in solidarity with civil rights movements in the USA, minority groups and the entire global community joins the world in demanding for justice on this matter. The murder of George Floyd comes against the backdrop of reports that Black African Americans and other minorities in the USA are the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The callous murder which was witnessed by white accomplice police officers exposes the fact that racism is embedded and institutionalised in the USA. The brutal and ruthless killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis Police officer on camera out of no apparent provocation must be an eye-opener that black minorities are at the mercy of successive administrations in the USA.”
Cde Chinamasa said hypocrisy of the US as the “so-called champion” of human rights has been exposed. “Indeed, the US cannot prefect the world on human rights in light of this latest incident which has among many others left them deprived of the moral high ground to speak or police the world on human rights and democracy,” he said.
Cde Chinamasa said the murder of Floyd also comes amidst global calls for the US to close its torture camps in Guantanamo Bay where several Blacks and Muslim communities have been condemned to, following largely frivolous accusations of being terrorists. “Indeed, as we offer our solidarity to the black communities in the USA whose lives continue to be at risk due to racial discrimination at the hands of authorities.
“We remember George Floyd’s last words in pain, that ‘I can’t breathe! I’m chocking’ The words must become symbols of resistance for the peoples in Cuba, Palestine, Venezuela, Iran, Sudan and Zimbabwe whose lives and developmental aspirations are being chocked by the debilitating effects of illegal economic sanctions which have literally suffocated them such that they can’t breathe,” said Cde Chinamasa
“The world’s doubting Thomases must end this callous murder as a clear indication that indeed, the Americans’ imposition of sanctions among many other punitive measures against our country were never aimed at restoring the observation of the rule of law and human rights which the US itself is blatantly and shamelessly perpetrating internally and externally.”
The party reiterated Government’s position in dismissing claims by the US national security advisor Mr Robert O’Brien that Zimbabwe sought to take advantage of the current unrest in that country to sow discord and damage their “democracy.”
He said Zimbabwe does not look at the US as an adversary, rather it is the US that does so, through maintaining hostile illegal sanctions and regime change endeavours which Zimbabweans have resiliently resisted.
Cde Chinamasa urged US President Donald Trump to reflect on the re-engagement by President Mnangagwa to ensure mutually beneficial relations.
“Instead of resorting to blaming us and threatening the innocent people of Zimbabwe who are voicing their concern on social media, we advise Mr Trump to tone down the hostile sound coming out from his trumpet and join our President’s call for global peace, respect for humanity, and an end to all forms of racism,” said Cde Chinamasa.
“We acknowledge the right of Zimbabweans to voice their concerns at whatever level, including social media with regards to this matter of global concern, as they are taking lessons from the manner in which the US embassy in Zimbabwe and its troops of sponsored faceless social media accounts particularly on twitter have involved themselves in our internal affairs, based on predetermined positions.”
Cde Chinamasa said the party condemns the ruthless and disproportionate crack-down on peaceful protesters “whose only crime thus far is to demand justice.”
“This is not asking for too much and certainly; it can’t be the basis for issuing unbridled threats against our country among others,” said Cde Chinamasa. “Zanu-PF will always stand up and raise the red flag in defending vulnerable communities notwithstanding the colour or might of the perpetrator.”
Cde Chinamasa called for the demonstrators to register their anger peacefully without resorting to violence. He called upon progressive civil rights movements in the US to equally join the people of Zimbabwe, Cuba, Venezuela and Sudan in calling for the removal of illegal sanctions imposed by successive US administrations seeking regime change under the cover of human rights and democracy.