Zimbabwe: You Can't Lecture Us On Democracy - ED Tells West

President Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has again warned Western countries to desist from lecturing Zimbabwe on the need to uphold human rights as the same states were involved in worse abuses against their citizens.

Mnangagwa was speaking Wednesday at the State House where he was bidding farewell to Zimbabwe's ambassador to the United Nations, Albert Chimbindi, and Ambassador-designate to Mozambique Victor Matemadanda.

Chimbindi replaces Fredrick Shava who was recently appointed Foreign Minister while Matemadanda replaces the late Douglas Nyikayaramba who died early this year.

Addressing journalists, Mnangagwa said the world was divided into various factions with the West forming the elite "Big Boys Club".

However, he bemoaned there was no criteria for choosing who should join this exclusive club.

"There is no criteria of choosing, but they choose themselves," Mnangagwa regretted.

"The first group of big boys is the G7 who say they have the seven biggest economies in the world, whether that is true or not but that is what they say. They meet as a group of seven, they determine what development thrust the world must follow and what influence they must have in the development of the entire world.

"Then beyond the G7, there is the G20, the G7 will now expand and look at other nations or economies which they feel are coming up and should not be allowed to be free, so they harness and expand the Group of 7 into a group of 20."

The G7 countries are the US Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK.

"On the issues of human rights, I told my ambassadors that one weapon which the big boys use is the question of human rights. They ignore human rights violations in their own backyards, in their own countries, in their own jurisdictions.

"But they go around talking about human rights violations in developing countries when there are worse human rights happening in the jurisdictions of these major countries."

Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe waged a protracted liberation struggle to bring majority rule and ensure human rights flourish.

"We suffered under human rights violation of oppression for decades and we had to go to war to bring democracy, so we cherish it. No one can lecture us about democracy."

He added: "He (Chimbindi) is going to New York at the United Nations, and I briefed him that there are three pillars that are critically important at the United Nations. The first pillar is that of peace and security that occupies most of the work at the United Nations. The world is divided on the issue of peace and security."

"We in Zimbabwe suffered under human rights of oppression for decades, for centuries and we had to go to war in order to have democracy in our country. So, we cherish, and no one can lecture us on our democracy.

"So, you must be aware of that issue. Again they (West) must be aware that as SADC, we stand together on issues of that nature and with AU. But we mustn't be bulldozed by the big boys because they have worse human rights violations in their own jurisdictions."

Turning to sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West at the turn of the century because of the government's bad human rights record, Mnangagwa claimed Zimbabweans had managed to survive because of the support from SADC and some AU member states.

"As far as Zimbabwe is concerned, under the current economic environment we are living in, over two decades of sanctions imposed by the big boys, Zimbabwe is surviving on the basis of three issues, attending to our own domestic resources to survive.

"Secondly, the support we receive in our own region as SADC, both at the economic and political level, and thirdly, under the auspices of the AU," he said.

"Beyond that, we have other countries at the United Nations that have not imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe. So, we continue to relate to them. So, on matters of development my Ambassador (Matemadanda) should not think that the G7 will ever think about promoting Zimbabwe, he must realise that our survival is based on our own resources, support by SADC, support by the AU, and bilateral relations with other countries."

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