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Mnangagwa blasts US for interfering with Zimbabwe’s relations with China

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned the United States government against interfering with Zimbabwe’s bilateral relations with China.

Writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa slammed the incoming ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Pamela Tremont for telling the US senate that she hoped to challenge Chinese activities in Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa also warned that the US “Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act” is seeking to give the western country too much power over the African continent.

“Our recent African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, addressed this dangerous turn in global affairs, including the ensuing conflict in Eastern Europe, which increasingly threatens global peace and security.

“The Summit also discussed United States of America’s gross attempts to control our continent through extraterritorial legislation.

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“The US ‘Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act’ seeks to empower America to employ intrusive and coercive diplomacy and policing in Africa and, worst of all, to allow it to ‘monitor natural resources and extractive industries’ on our continent. This is unprecedented,” Mnangagwa wrote.

The President cited the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Acts (ZIDERA) as an example of the US’s illegal interference with small states.

“Zimbabwe is already a victim of such illegal, extra-territorial legislation in the form of ZIDERA which, with hindsight, is now turning out to be a foretaste for the whole African continent.

“US containment policy in our country seems to go beyond ourselves and the Russian Federation only; it extends to People’s Republic of China as well. Recently, we saw American senators quizzing their incoming ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Pamela Tremont, on how she hopes to challenge Chinese activities in Zimbabwe! We do not think this is prudent way to handle our bilateral relations.

“Against such threats, it is vitally important that Zimbabwe evolves quickly by securing herself and her interests in this fast-changing, often hostile, global order. New alliances are forming; old rules are being re-written or being replaced entirely by new ones, which are not always just and fair, especially to small, vulnerable states endowed with rich resources. We have to be prepared, lest we are left behind, or simply get overrun in the emerging struggles and often hostile alliances.”

Added Mnangagwa: “To secure our interests, we must deepen and broaden our global diplomatic footprint, starting here on our African continent. We should never forget that throughout our struggles as a people, both before and after our Independence, Africa has always been our strongest defence, and remains our home. I am happy that the sister Federal Republic of Ethiopia is preparing to reopen her Chancery in our country, after closing a few years back when that sister country was going through challenges.

“Ethiopia is important to Zimbabwe and to Africa as a whole; we celebrate the return of peace in that key African country, which historically symbolises Africa’s Independence and our continental unity. The Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now African Union, AU, was launched in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, back in 1963.

“Since then, it has remained the seat of our continental body, the AU. For Zimbabwe, Ethiopia was a staunch ally which supported our Liberation Struggle. After Independence Ethiopia helped us rebuild and Africanise our aviation sector, including the training of our Air Zimbabwe pilots.”

The Chinese embassy in Harare on Sunday also issued a statement responding to Tremont’s comments.

“The US senators and government officials wantonly discussed Zimbabwe’s internal affairs and even smeared China-Zimbabwe cooperation. I want to challenge them, ‘Who gives them the right to point fingers at other countries’ diplomatic relations?’ The US’ old habit never changes’,” the Chinese said.