The joint statement by some Western embassies yesterday criticising Government for allegedly restricting peoples’ freedoms and calling for dialogue, is a continuation of attempts to install a puppet administration in Zimbabwe, political analysts have said.
The statement was released by Heads of Missions of Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Analysts said the statement betrayed their collaboration with opposition elements that have been trying to portray a crisis situation in Zimbabwe.
While acknowledging the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on daily life, the Western embassies said President Mnangagwa was using Covid-19 to restrict citizens’ freedoms.
“But Covid-19 must not be used as an excuse to restrict citizens’ freedoms. Freedom of the press, of opinion, of expression and of assembly are all universally recognised human rights and are guaranteed by the Zimbabwe’s constitution,” reads part of the statement.
Zimbabwe, just like many countries worldwide, adopted measures to contain the spread of the pandemic that has resulted in restrictions on religious, political, and social gatherings.
Former Thokozani Khupe’s MDC-T deputy president, Mr Obert Gutu said the statement by the Western countries was the “usual drivel from some powerful Western nations” that cannot wait to see the installation of a puppet government in Zimbabwe.
“Of course, there are political and socio-economic challenges in Zimbabwe right now but then, give me just one country in the world that isn’t facing political and socio-economic challenges of its own during these difficult times brought about by the Covid-19 global pandemic,” he said.
Mr Gutu said the US could not lecture Zimbabwe on human rights given the manner in which black people are wantonly killed by police in that country. Jacob Blake, a black man from Wisconsin in the US, was last week shot seven times by police details in front of his children, prompting widespread demonstrations.
Blake remains hospitalised, but is bizarrely handcuffed to his bed, according to his family.
His father visited him in hospital and said he was “heartbroken” to see his son was handcuffed, CNN reported yesterday.
“This is an insult to injury. He is paralysed and can’t walk and they have him cuffed to the bed. Why?” queried Justin Blake, the uncle of the victim.
Blake’s shooting came a few months after the ruthless killing of another black man, George Floyd, by police in Minnesota.
Mr Gutu said America “is literally on fire right now”.
“Black people are being routinely butchered by the police in cold blood. Even the very popular National Basketball Association (NBA) has been forced to cancel all games at the bubble in Florida because many star players are absolutely incensed by the mindless and cold-blooded murder and callous shooting of black men by racist white police officers.
“The United States of America should be the last country to lecture to anyone about human rights,” said Mr Gutu.
Another analyst, Mr Goodwine Mureriwa, said the letter was preg_nant with intrusive tactics of dividing people and instigating discontent.
He added that this was the same language used by civil society organisations that are massively funded by the West, whose illegal sanctions are the source of Zimbabwe’s challenges.