June 16, 2024

Zambians lash out at Zimbabwean leader Mnangagwa for involving country in diplomatic pleas


Zambians have taken to social media to express their outrage after Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa attempted to drag Zambia into his diplomatic pleas during a discussion with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mnangagwa’s remarks, which implied that Western countries favor Zambia and Malawi over Zimbabwe, sparked a wave of criticism from Zambian citizens.

During his meeting with Putin, President Mnangagwa sought Russian support for Zimbabwe’s agricultural and mining sectors, expressing frustration over what he described as Western favoritism towards neighboring countries.

He also voiced concerns about the strengthening security ties between the United States and Zambia, suggesting that Zimbabwe needed similar backing from Russia.

Zambians, however, were quick to respond, taking to Mnangagwa’s verified Facebook account to voice their disapproval. Many saw his comments as an unwarranted attempt to involve Zambia in Zimbabwe’s internal struggles and criticized his approach as unbecoming of a leader.

Zimba wrote, “Never ever put Zambia in your begging matters. Beg with dignity and not lies. You’re a disappointment to the people of Southern Africa.” Vernon Kalopa added, “Friendly advice: don’t involve Zambia with your internal issues. You will never ever find Zambians talking bad things about Zimbabwe because we’re one people. Thank you.”

Keagan Nwiinga echoed these sentiments: “With due respect Mr. President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, avoid involving Zambia in your sortable internal issues. Always honor the neighborhood and the friendship we share.” Anthony Busani Moyo criticized Mnangagwa’s approach, saying, “But that desperation you showed the world talking to Putin is something else as a leader of the country. Investors are not begged. Just put good policies, rule of law, property rights, strong laws/systems to fight corruption, etc. You will see investors flocking in.”

The criticism didn’t stop there. Prominent Zimbabwean journalist and critic, Hopewell Chin’ono, also weighed in, lambasting Mnangagwa’s negotiation tactics. “You don’t negotiate by selling yourself short, saying that you are lonely and that nobody in the West wants to engage with you,” Chin’ono wrote. “This approach signals to the other side that you are desperate, revealing that you have no perceived value.”

Chin’ono further debunked Mnangagwa’s claims about American military presence in Zambia, stating, “Zambia DOESN’T have a single American military base in Zambia. It is sad that ZANU-PF continues to spread this fake news!”

Mnangagwa’s remarks and the subsequent backlash underscore the complex and often fraught relationships within Southern Africa, highlighting the need for careful diplomatic engagement and respect for regional solidarity.

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