Keep your mouths shut gvt tells foreign envoys

Government has issued a strong warning to the United States and Canadian Ambassadors saying they should desist from being hypocrites who are concerned with human rights issues when their countries are the chief culprits of human rights violations.

The stern warning follows damning statements issued by both embassies concerning police brutality which was witnessed last week as anti-government protesters took to the streets to display their dismay over government’s failed policies.

Responding to statements, particularly the one issued by United States embassy in Harare, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe yesterday said foreign envoys must not interfere in the country’s politics.

Part of the statement issued by the United States reads, “The United States is troubled by the economic policies and financial strains that have prompted numerous recent protests in Zimbabwe and we join many Zimbabweans in their deep concern over reports of violence during some of the protests. The United States supports freedoms of speech and assembly and we call on the government of Zimbabwe to exhibit restraint and respect the human rights of all Zimbabwean citizens, including those basic rights. We urge everyone to engage in non-violent discourse and for all those involved in protests, participants and law enforcement alike – to abstain from violence and intimidation and seek peaceful resolutions. Violence is never acceptable.

“The United States is also monitoring recent threats to crack down on activists using social media. We fear these threats will further limit the right of Zimbabweans to exercise freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, which are enshrined in the Zimbabwean Constitution, protected under Zimbabwe’s international human rights obligations, and core values of any functioning democracy.  We support Zimbabweans’ rights to freedom of speech regardless the venue — be it in public, through print media, or social media.”

Dr Mushowe said “The least the US Ambassador Harry Thomas here can do is to keep his mouth shut, instead of compounding the crimes of his government against the people of Zimbabwe by parading false piety.”

He added that America is the chief culprit of gross human rights violations.

“Lets pause and examine their home environments where  rights of men and women  of colour and rights of ingenious populations  are wantonly trumped upon by their own government with absolutely no remorse to calm victims.

“Is it not a fact that half a month ago more and more African Americans where shot and killed in cold blood by the US police?

“When will their Ambassador here, an African himself, write home to remind his own government on the need to uphold the rights of fellow blacks back home? Queried Dr Mushowe.

He said such hypocrisy is sickening While adding that “Let not those with logs in their eyes seek to cure imaginary specks in African eyes.”

“Their statements last week were not only unacceptably repugnant, but vainly suggested their governments play father figure to a sovereign state, as if Zimbabwe is under some kind of joint US-Canadian trusteeship. For the record, Zimbabwe gained its Independence in 1980 following a national liberation struggle which never enjoyed an iota of support from the West,” he said.