Zimbabwe Govt spokesman Mangwana ‘insults’ Zambian President Hichilema
Zimbabwe government spokesman Nick Mangwana has insulted Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, issuing undiplomatic social media rants over reports the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) was opening an office in Zambia.
This comes after the US Embassy in Zambia announced this week during a meeting with Hichilema and visiting AFRICOM Brigadier General Peter Bailey who is the Deputy Director for Strategy, Engagement, and Programs that an Office of Security Cooperation was set to be created in Lusaka.
It was further claimed that the office was meant to “enhance military to military relations and enhance security cooperation”.
This prompted Mangwana to override diplomatic channels and criticise Hichilema.
Some Zanu-PF activists are arguing that the existence of a US military base would pose a threat to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“A brigadier meets a whole President, who should really be celebrating? Dzimwe statecraft so!” Mangwana said.
But the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) quickly came in to defend its President and country.
“Nick, you have joined the bandwagon of those Insulting our country and President. Leave Zambia, this is a freely elected leader voted in by millions of our people.
“He is not answerable to you or any of you who have taken turns insulting us these past days. Let’s respect each other,” he said.
Mangwana responded: “Mate, please don’t have ideas of reference. Not everything is about you and your country. There is a whole world out there.”
Kalimbwe further told Mangwana: “We are not stupid man. You think we don’t understand the picture you are trying to paint?”
Zimbabwe’s main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba also castigated Mnangagwa.
“Clown! Your regime has been rejected all over that’s why you and (Chris) Mutsvangwa spew verbiage about everyone. Zambia is wrong, UK is wrong, EFF is wrong, Ukraine is wrong, America is wrong. Only you are right. What a shame,” he said.
Former cabinet Minister Walter Mzembi also warned Mangwana against overriding diplomatic platforms headed by Foreign Affairs Minister Fredrick Shava.
“You are the one in breach of Statecraft yourself poking a neighborly President unless your sentiments are the official position of the President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa. Leave this to Shava to do diplomatic consultations, my 2 cents muzukuru,” Mzembi warned.
Award-winning investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono also urged Mangwana not to interfere with the internal affairs of Zambia.
“It is unproductive for the spokesman of the Zimbabwean Government Nick Mangwana to be insulting the Zambian President Hichilema. Zambia makes decisions that are good for its people.
“We have no cancer machines in hospitals and no clean drinking water yet he has time to insult,” he said.
Zambian Defence Minister Ambrose Lufuma yesterday denied claims that the US is in the process of establishing a military base in Zambia saying the platform being created was an office for security cooperation which would be housed in the US embassy, not a military base.