Zimbabwe govt slams actions to ‘undermine’ its sovereignty

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, pictured, who replaced long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in July ©Getty Images

HARARE – The embattled government of President Mnangagwa on Friday said foreign powers and international organisations have resorted to undermining Zimbabwe’s sovereignty by calling for sanctions against the country’s ambassador to Tanzania in relation to post-election violence on August 1 2018.

The country’s ambassador to Tanzania, retired Brig-Gen Anslem Sanyatwe, headed the Presidential Guard that shot and killed six civilians and left many injured when protesters took to the streets in protest against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s narrow electoral victory.

Appearing before the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry on December 18 2018, Sanyatwe said soldiers did not fire at protesters. Instead, they sprayed bullets at a 45 degree angle as warning shots, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Last week, Sanyatwe and his wife were placed on the US sanctions list, much to the anger of Zimbabwe.

“We, therefore, wish to place on record our displeasure of actions to undermine Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and condemn posturing meant to fan divisions rather than initiate national healing and understanding,” said government spokesperson Nick Mangwana in a statement.

Amnesty International on Thursday called for a thorough investigation into the August 1 2018 killings.

“Authorities must institute a thorough, effective and impartial investigation into the killings of protesters, some of whom were killed while fleeing, with those found to have acted unlawfully brought to justice through fair trials,” said Amnesty’s deputy director for southern Africa, Muleya Mwananyanda.

Meanwhile on Friday President Mugabe said Zimbabwe welcomes foreign investors into the country but will not accept investments that come with conditions attached.

Mnangagwa said this after taking part in the national clean-up campaign at Ashbrittle Shopping Centre in Harare.

He said there must be unity and peace among Zimbabweans if the country was to develop.

“We want a better future we want the next generation to live a better life than ourselves and to do so the current generation, united as a country as a people we put our heads together and shoulders on the wheel to develop, to modernise, to industrialise our country,” Mnangagwa said.

“We can do that and achieve that on our own depending on our resources but alas the pace at which we develop would be very slow that’s why we have said Zimbabwe is open for business in order to attract foreign direct investment into the country and assist us to develop the various sectors of the economy agriculture, mining tourism, manufacturing, infrastructure development and ICTs.

“But when FDIs come into the country it must come at the dictates of ourselves no political ties, no conditions. The conditions should only be those which ourselves want and this can only be achieved if we remain united, when we remain peaceful, when each one of us strives to do one’s best in whatever they are doing.”

He said Government had embarked on the re-engagement process so that the country re-joins the community of nations.