Underfire Zim Govt tells US ambassador to stop “megaphone diplomacy”
By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has accused the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian Nichols of using “megaphone diplomacy of casting aspersions on the Zimbabwe Government”, and pushing opposition politics in the country.
This comes after Nichols told The Sunday Times that there was a political crisis in Zimbabwe characterised by gross human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade accused the US Ambassador of contravening the Vienna Convention.
“Furthermore, diplomatic channels for communication of any concerns to the Zimbabwe Government do exist and Ambassador Nichols is encouraged to make use of these, instead of engaging in the megaphone diplomacy of casting aspersions on the Zimbabwe Government and dabbling in local politics including pushing an agenda meant to prop up the fortunes of an opposition, which is trying to sell a dummy to the world, that there is a political crisis in Zimbabwe.
“The Zimbabwe Government, once again, expresses its utter dismay at the actions by the United States Ambassador Mr Brian Nichols in continuing to make disparaging public comments and attacks on the Zimbabwe Government’s political and economic programmes. This is in clear violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which governs the rules for the exchange and treatment of Envoys between States, as well as their behaviour,” the Ministry said.
“Ambassador Nichols is aware of the cases of several former Government Ministers and Senior Government Officials who are on trial for corruption,” the Ministry said.
The Ministry added: “As the Ambassador would be aware, Zimbabwe is currently re-engaging with Western countries, including the United States, which has seen His Excellency President Mnangagwa meeting in Maputo, Mozambique, with United States Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador Tibor Nagy with whom he held very cordial and frank discussions regarding our bilateral cooperation and developments in Zimbabwe,” said the Ministry.
“The Zimbabwe Government is most desirous of rebuilding relations with the United States but is anxious that some of Ambassador Nichols’ activities are hindering this.”
Recently, the ruling Zanu-PF party spokesman Patrick Chinamasa lashed out at the U.S. government and U.S. Ambassador Nichols accusing the of supporting opposition MDC Alliance, via anti-government protests.