Zimbabwe accuses US ambassador of behaving in opposition

The diplomat criticized social networks for "catastrophic management" of the country, saying the US sanctions were not responsible for Zimbabwe's difficulties.

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Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo in Harare on September 13, 2019.
Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo in Harare on September 13, 2019. Philimon Bulawayo / REUTERS

Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo accused the US ambassador in Harare on Thursday (October 31st) of behaving like "A member of the opposition" who insults the authorities, threatening the diplomat to expel him if he persists in his criticisms.

Last week, Ambassador Brian Nichols felt on social media that US sanctions were "Not responsible for the tragic bankruptcy of Zimbabwe". "The responsibility lies with the catastrophic management of those who run it and the abuse of the government against its own citizens"he had said. "More than 60 million dollars (about 54 million euros) public funds disappear and no one is held responsible. #CeNeSontPasDesSanctions ", had tweeted the American Embassy again.

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In a very strong statement on Thursday, the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister ruled that "Untoward" the statements of the American ambassador, which reflect "A worrying lack of respect from the host government". The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations "Does not allow embassies to behave like citadels of the opposition, preoccupied" by "Gossip, insinuations and even insults to the host government"insisted Sibusiso Moyo: "No diplomat, let alone any ambassador, should be allowed to behave like a kind of opposition member, with total disregard for any form of authorized diplomatic protocol. "

A catastrophic economic crisis

"Persistent behavior of this nature will test the patience of even the most tolerant of us"warned the minister, assuring Zimbabwe's hospitality sense "Should not be taken for cash". "We have the means to put an end to all this if we deem it necessary"he concluded.

Read also In Zimbabwe, inflation flies to almost 300% year-on-year

The United States and the European Union (EU) have been holding sanctions against Zimbabwe for almost 20 years, mainly targeting the family and relatives of former President Robert Mugabe, accused of electoral violence and fraud. Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded Mugabe two years ago after a coup by the army and the ruling party, ZANU-PF, tried unsuccessfully to lift them. The EU has recently cut them back and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has resumed talks with Harare. But in contrast, Washington extended in March the sanctions against Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former chief of the Mugabe regime, and a hundred Zimbabwean personalities or companies.

On October 25, several thousand Zimbabweans marched in the capital, Harare, at the call of their government, to denounce the sanctions imposed by the West, while the country is in the grip of a catastrophic economic crisis.


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