By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The United States has summoned Zimbabwe’s ambassador in their country to explain expulsion threats made by the ruling Zanu PF party to the US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian Nichols.
On Monday, Zanu PF acting spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa accused ambassador Nichols of sponsoring violent demonstrations aimed at overthrowing President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his administration. This was a response to protests slated for 31 July 2020.
On Tuesday, the U.S Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy responded on his microblogging Twitter account and said his country had summoned the Zimbabwean representative to explain the allegations made by Zanu PF.
“Comments from #ZANUPF – while sadly not surprising – are deeply offensive. We have summoned the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to explain,” he said.
When Mnangagwa overthrew the late former president Robert Mugabe via a military coup in November 2017 he pledged a clean break with his predecessor’s hard-line stance towards the West.
He pledged to roll out a reform agenda anchored on a re-engagement drive aimed at bringing Zimbabwe back to the community of nations.
Mnangagwa’s administration has effectively abandoned its international re-engagement agenda as evidenced by public confrontations with the U.S and other western countries.
Accusations directed at the U.S Embassy by Mnangagwa’s regime are coming a few days before the planned 31 July protests against corruption in government.
Chinamasa said the U.S ambassador was a “thug” sponsoring violent demonstrations in Zimbabwe.
“The U.S ambassador who I’m told is African American, he must be totally ashamed of himself. He continues to engage in acts of undermining this Republic, mobilising and funding disturbances, coordinating violence and training insurgency.
“Our leadership will not hesitate to give him marching orders. Diplomats should not behave like thugs. Brian Nichols is a thug,” Chinamasa said.
“We remind him that he is not a super diplomat in this country. There are several diplomats that are seconded to this republic from the African Union member countries and the world over. They have never masqueraded and pretended to be our prefects as Mr Nichols is doing,” Chinamasa added.
The convenor of the protest, opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume was arrested Monday last week by the police and charged with inciting violence.
On the same day, investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono who recently exposed alleged government corruption involving President Mnangagwa’s son, Collins in the supply of coronavirus supplies, was arrested and charged with inciting citizens to “participate in public violence.”