Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party on Monday threatened the United States ambassador to Zimbabwe with expulsion, accusing him of “coordinating violence” ahead of planned anti-government protests on July 31.
Brian Nichols, an African American, is an “Uncle Tom” used by the United States government to “propagate values which they themselves don’t practice on their own people,” Zanu PF’s acting spokesman Patrick Chinamasa railed at a news conference in Harare.
Chinamasa said Nichols, who has spoken out against human rights abuses and corruption, was one of a “coterie of gangsters and mercenaries who are disguised as diplomats.”
“I want to warn and remind them that it’s high time they get to know that Zimbabwe is a sovereign state,” Chinamasa said, adding that Nichols should be “totally ashamed of himself.”
“He continues to engage in acts of undermining this republic and if he does so, if he continues engaging in acts of mobilizing and funding disturbances, coordinating violence and training insurgents, our leadership will not hesitate to give him marching orders,” Chinamasa thundered.
He added: “Diplomats should not behave like thugs, and Brian Nichols is a thug. We remind Nichols that he’s not a super diplomat to this country… He pretends to be our prefect. We have nothing to learn from the United States or those countries that imposed sanctions. They are no respecters of human rights.”
Chinamasa claimed Nichols’ predecessor, Christopher Dell, had attempted to push Zanu PF out of power and failed.
“Nichols should learn from his predecessor… He tried it and he realized the shoes were too big for him. Don’t dare Zimbabwe, we are waiting for you.”
The United States embassy has led criticism of official corruption as well as the abductions and torture of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s opponents.
The embassy denies meddling, and says it is merely holding Mnangagwa’s regime to the democratic values set out in Zimbabwe’s constitution.
Last week, authorities arrested opposition leader Jacob Ngarivhume and the campaigning journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, accusing them of inciting Zimbabweans to hold violent protests on July 31.
Chinamasa claimed at the news conference that the United States and other western embassies were coordinating the protests in order to violently oust Mnangagwa.
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