Zimbabwean President Mnangagwa carpets ‘meddlesome’ UK government, tells them to ‘mind their business’
The President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mmangagwa, has warned “meddlesome” Britain to mind its business and face its own problems instead of poking its nose into the affairs of his country through “contrived stories and false oppositional narratives.”
Mnangagwa who was responding to claims by British House of Lords representatives that the governing Zanu PF party was targeting the opposition, said the country’s former colonial masters had more than enough problems to face back home and has no right to tell Zimbabwe, a sovereign nation, what to do and how to run its affairs.
In a statement on Tuesday through his spokesman, George Charamba, President Mnangagwa, said the UK has been trying to control the country in the past but that it was time they focused on their own troubles.
Charamba noted that the British, “through their sponsored opposition and non-governmental organisations, have been desperately trying to block the passage of the Private and Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Bill, because according to it, and erroneously so, it infringes on constitutional liberties. But the Bill is actually seeking to end money laundering and rein in foreign funding of local politics.”
President Mnangagwa who has insisted that nothing will stop the Bill from being passed, said “come rain or sunshine, the Bill would be passed following the laws of this country.
“The PVO Bill, which they are fretting about, will be passed. It is a Zimbabwean law, meant to deal with a Zimbabwean situation and it will proceed that way.
“However, we also thank them, the British government and the House of Lords, for confirming that they continue to meddle in our own affairs.
“The British Lords should not be in the habit of writing fiction about Zimbabwe in order to debate it. They have so much on their plate, there is their soaring inflation at home, there are certain oddities that are happening within their own Parliament, they have blowbacks relating to their exit of Europe, not to mention what is happening in Eastern Europe and of course, their own domestic policy which gets them to want to use foreign affairs as a red herring.
“When you go through the things they allege are happening in Zimbabwe, you cannot but wonder if their embassy here is of any use at all. Nothing that they are raising or debating approximates the reality on the ground.
“Anyway, the point must be made and made instantly that in 1980, Zimbabwe got independence and has absolutely nothing to do with the British, (which is) made worse by the fact that the British, in their lack of wisdom, decided to slap Zimbabwe with sanctions it does not deserve. Can you imagine if the European Union was to invoke its own values and expectations with respect to Britain after Brexit?
“Why do they think we still stand beholden to a colonial power we ousted from this country? How do they stand in loco parenthesis (in the place of a parent) to us?
“They must mind their own business, they cut relations with us (and) we got nothing from them except for their own pestering and to that extent, we don’t pay attention to what they are saying.”
South Africa: Opposition, DA want findings on alleged arms supply to Russia public
South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance has vowed to challenge the decision by the presidency to keep from the public, findings from recent arm supply allegations.
The follows allegations by United States Ambassador, Reuben Brigety that South Africa provided ammunition to Russia by ship. Brigety said the US was sure that contrary to its public claim of being non-aligned in the Russia/Ukraine crisis, South Africa supplied arms to Vladimir Putin’s army in December.
Following the allegation, President Ramaphosa launched an investigation to be conducted by an independent body which will be led by retired Deputy Justice Phineas Mojapelo, advocate Leah Gcabashe, and former justice minister Enver Surty. Meanwhile, his spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya said the government would withhold the panel’s findings.
Magwenya said the terms of reference for the inquiry would not be gazetted or published.
“The investigation covers issues of national security and classified information, which is protected from disclosure,” he said.
“This inquiry has been instituted in a similar manner to the inquiry that investigated the July 2021 riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and the value of its report remains unchallenged.
“The panel will be supported in gathering the information that is necessary to fulfil its mandate by letters from the president instructing all relevant government entities as identified by the panel to cooperate fully with the panel or face disciplinary sanction,” he said.
“The work of the panel will not be public, nor will its report be made public. The president will speak to any actions that may result with respect to national security. This is provided for within our secrecy laws as per the nature of this matter,” he added.
In a statement, the DA said it would not ” leave this secrecy unchallenged. We have already submitted an application under the Promotion of Access to Information Act to obtain a copy of the panel’s terms of reference. And we are obtaining legal advice to challenge Ramaphosa’s plan to hide the report once it is complete.”
The party leader, John Steenhuisen argued that keeping the report private “undermines the ability of prosecutors and the public to hold guilty parties accountable for any such violations of the law”.
“Hiding this report from public view will rob the people of South Africa – and of the world – of the opportunity to see the full facts of this matter.
“Refusing to disclose the complete picture of how the ANC-led government allegedly smuggled weapons to arm Russia’s war in Ukraine and various parts of Africa will also undermine the very purpose of the investigation.”
Zimbabwe’s electoral commission, ZEC promises to publicise voters’ register
The electoral commission in Zimbabwe said it would soon publish the voters’ register for the forthcoming general elections.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) also assured the public of a fair election and promised to rectify anomalies that were observed during the voters’ inspection exercise.
The head of ZEC, Utloile Silaigwana made the position known when he announced the end of the mop-up voter registration exercise on Friday.
Silaigwana further revealed that the Nomination court would sit on 21 June and thereafter the voters’ roll would be accessible to candidates.
There are contentions about the neutrality of the electoral commission. In March, a member of the opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Allan Markham filed a court application challenging ZEC for access to the electronic voters’ roll but had his request rejected because “it was too risky” and in the interest of data protection.
Meanwhile, the ruling party, Zanu PF sent text messages to registered voters during the period urging them to vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa. This move further fuelled the allegation that Zanu PF had access to the voters’ roll which is why it was able to send the messages.
President Mnangagwa is running for re-election to a second term after coming to power following a military coup that dislodged Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s president in 2017.
The country is struggling with deep poverty, recurring power outages, and crippling unemployment, all of which have fuelled widespread resentment.
The President of Zimbabwe is elected using a two-round system. The Zimbabwean legislature is made up of 270 members of the National Assembly, 210 members elected in single-member constituencies, and 60 women elected by proportional representation in ten six-seat constituencies based on the country’s provinces.
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