US ambassador mocks Zimbabwe over human rights abuses

The US ambassador Brian Nichols has released the following statement on his meeting with Foreign Minister SB Moyo.

This comes after Minister Moyo summoned the US ambassador after a video went viral of a US official labelling Zimbabwe as one of the US’s foreign adversaries.

Read the full statement below:

Amid a painful, sad and infuriating week, I met Foreign Minister S.B. Moyo today. George Floyd’s brutal killing, hundreds of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable people succumbing to a global pandemic, the crushing economic cost of lockdowns borne by the poorest among us, remind us that we cannot wait for justice or to recognize each other’s humanity.

The American people’s unwavering commitment to the welfare of Zimbabwe’s people has kept us their largest assistance donor. Remembering that commitment, today, I again urged Zimbabwe’s government to end state-sponsored violence against peaceful protesters, civil society, labor leaders and members of the opposition in Zimbabwe, and to hold accountable those responsible for human rights abuses.

As an African American, for as long as I can remember I have known that my rights and my body were not fully my own. I have also always known that America, conceived in liberty, has always aspired to be better a shining city on a hill and that is why I have dedicated my life to her service. Both America’s and Zimbabwe’s constitutions enshrine the right to free speech and peaceful protest.

“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.” Yet, peaceful protesters Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri, and Netsai Marova were arrested, abducted, assaulted and left for dead. To those who deny America’s right to speak out on their fate, let me remind you, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

In a long, unbroken line of black men and women, George Floyd gave the last full measure of devotion to point us toward a new birth in freedom. Mr. Floyd’s murder was a tragedy that has filled Americans with horror and anger. Mr. Floyd’s killer was charged with murder in days. Every American official from our President to Minneapolis’ African American Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has vowed to deliver justice.

Zimbabweans surely wonder when, after so many years, Patrick Nabanyama, Itai Dzamara, and Paul Chizuze will get justice. Americans will continue to speak out for justice whether at home or abroad. We can meet the ideals of our founding, we will change this world for the better.

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