HomeLocal NewsMumbengegwi lashes out at envoys

Mumbengegwi lashes out at envoys

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Cracks between Zimbabwe and the international community have widened, as defiant Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengengwi lashed out at Western ambassadors for maintaining sanctions while looking for a pat on the back for offering humanitarian assistance.
In a tense meeting called by the minister to update the envoys on the outcome of the Sadc summit held in Namibia last week, Mumbengegwi had no kind words for diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe.
He told the Western diplomats that Zimbabwe did not require humanitarian assistance, saying the only hindrance to self-sustenance were the sanctions imposed on the country.
“Zimbabwe is not a candidate for humanitarian assistance. We have the capacity to look after our people. Just remove your sanctions,” fumed Mumbengengwi.
“You cripple our economy then you want us to be grateful for your assistance. Lift your sanctions, they are not helpful.”
But the diplomats said there was no reason travel restrictions could be said to be derailing economic recovery.
The envoys shifted the blame to Zimbabwe’s politicians and accused the government of being insincere and ungrateful for the humanitarian support rendered by Western countries.
German Ambassador Albrecht Conze said: “I fail to understand how travel restrictions on 200 people can be said to be affecting the recovery of the country and can be viewed as a threat to the integration of the Sadc region.
“In the last three years, the very Western countries you accuse of not being sincere have mobilised between $600 and $800 million to assist the people through humanitarian assistance.”
However, Mumbengegwi was not finished and retorted angrily:
“We find it demeaning to ask. Don’t tell us about humanitarian assistance. It is insulting to say there are no sanctions. You can fool those in Europe to say there are no sanctions against Zimbabwe, no wonder why sanctions are not being lifted.”
Mumbengegwi went further to accuse the diplomats of using NGOs to pursue their agenda by negating local structures put in place by the government to assist vulnerable people.
However, Conze calmly responded:
“We are in the process of mobilising funds through the Multi-Donor Trust that would go a long way in improving water and energy generation issues that we find most critical in this country.”
US Ambassador Charles Ray, Conze and the European Union’s chargé d’affaires, Barbara Plinkert, walked away from the funeral of President Mugabe’s sister, after the president repeatedly said the West should “go to hell”.

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