THE dramatic scenes of chaos and violence which engulfed the Capitol Hill in Washington DC on January 6, leaving five people dead and many injured as supporters of United States President Donald Trump sought to stop the confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory by the House of Representatives and Senate, serve as a reminder that all is far from well within the US, which posits itself as the self-styled leader of the world, a Cabinet minister has said.
Peeved by a stinging electoral defeat to Mr Biden, a Democrat, outgoing Republican President Trump incited his supporters to storm Capitol building last week, leading to an unprecedented orgy of violence.
The violent scenes sent shockwaves around the world, and exposed the US’ double standards as Washington parades itself as a paragon of democracy while dishing out prescriptive measures to countries such as Zimbabwe, on holding elections.
In a statement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr Sibusiso Moyo, said the insurrection at Capitol building should lead US policy makers to make a “sober reflection and the emergence of a less prescriptive style of engagement with countries such as Zimbabwe”.
“For a nation which prides itself on the democratic example it sets for others, and which judges and often punishes others for failing to meet its lofty standards of moral rectitude and governance, the events of January 6 must surely have come as a massive reality-check: a stark reminder that all is far from well within the heart and soul of the self-styled ‘leader of the free world’; that America itself is failing to meet the very benchmark standards it demands of all others; and a clear demonstration that its governance systems and institutions are far from infallible.
“Our hope, as Zimbabweans, is that the reality of such deliberate politically-motivated violence; the reality of systems-failure and institutional fallibility – especially now, as a new administration takes office in Washington — may lead to a period of sober reflection among US policy and decision-makers, and the emergence of a different, less prescriptive style of US engagement with others — including Zimbabwe.”
Dr Moyo said Zimbabwe was looking forward to working with the incoming administration of President-elect Biden to spur the re-engagement process.
“We look forward to working closely with the incoming Biden Administration, and its Africa team, to inject new impetus into our re-engagement efforts and to continue the task of rebuilding a strong, productive bilateral relationship based on mutual understanding and respect,” he said.
“Just as we are very confident that Americans will swiftly move past the ugliness and chaos of January 6 and the deep polarisation which characterises
US society today, so too are we confident that Zimbabwe and the United States will indeed find one another and succeed in rekindling the multi-faceted, co-operative and mutually beneficial relationship we once enjoyed.”
Dr Moyo sent his condolences to the families of those killed during the violence.
“We deeply regret the tragic events of January 6, most especially the loss of life, the injuries suffered and the defilement of the very symbol of US democracy,” he said.
“We extend our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the senseless violence unleashed on that infamous day.” – Sunday Mail