Harare (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe government on Tuesday mocked claims that Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lt. Gen Sibusiso Moyo (Rtd) had privately disowned a statement he issued last week rebuking United States ambassador Brian Nichols over several indiscretions.
In a stinging statement last week, Moyo told Nichols that the Zimbabwe government was not amused by his continued interference in local politics, warning him that a strong punishment awaited him, in line with international law, if he continued.
Nichols invited the rebuke after writing a guest column in a local private newspaper accusing the government of all manner of evils in an attempt to mask his country’s blameworthiness in the economic challenges that Zimbabwe is facing, without giving evidence or proof.
The US ambassador was also actively involved in the planning of anti-government demonstrations that were planned by the opposition MDC in August this year, with evidence at hand showing that he visited top opposition officials at their homes to plan the protests.
Feeling the heat, the US fed private news outlets a false narrative that Moyo had privately assured Western diplomats that he had not authored the statement, but was instead forced to “take ownership of it.”
But, in a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade poured cold water on the unsubstantiated claims and said it stood by the earlier communication.
“There are press reports that have come to the attention of the Ministry suggesting that the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Lt. Gen S.B Moyo disowned the statement he issued on 31 October 2019 on the recent conduct and statements of the ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Zimbabwe,” Ministry spokesperson Shepherd Gwenzi said.
“For the record, the Honourable Minister has neither retracted nor renounced his statement. The said reports are mischievous and should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve.”
Of late, perhaps as a sign of guilt, the US has been frantically defending its ruinous sanctions policy on Zimbabwe, arguing that the embargo was targeted at a few politicians yet it is fact that they have caused untold suffering among the people, collapse of key economic sectors and financial damages estimated at over US$90 billion.
For example, jolted by region-wide revulsion over the illegal embargo against Zimbabwe, the US embassy ran an unprecedented social media campaign under the hashtag #ItsNotSanctions in a futile attempt to cow the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which marked a special day of solidarity with Zimbabwe over the sanctions on October 25.
The US, along with its Western allies, imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe nearly two decades ago in retaliation to the land reform programme which the Zanu PF government had implemented to correct a colonial legacy.