Govt dissociates itself from Zuma attacks in state media

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The Zimbabwean government on Thursday dissociated itself from attacks on Sadc facilitator Jacob Zuma emanating from the state media saying the individuals who criticised the facilitator did so in their personal capacities.

Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the attacks had no connection with government’s position towards Sadc and the resolutions passed by its Organ on Politics, Defence and Security three weeks ago in Livingstone, Zambia.

“There was an appreciation that the attacks were not coming from the government,” Mumbengegwi told journalists after meeting ambassadors from Sadc member countries.

“You cannot attribute attacks from an individual to government. You know who speaks for the party and who speaks for the government.”

The meeting was held after the ambassadors demanded an explanation on Zimbabwe’s position on Sadc following a string of attacks on the person of Zuma, the South African President, in the state-controlled media.

Resolutions made by the Sadc Troika on Politics, Defence and Security in Livingstone were roundly attacked in the same media.

Jonathan Moyo, a Zanu PF politburo member, and The Sunday Mail led the crusade against Zuma and the Sadc Troika.

Malawi ambassador to Zimbabwe Richard Phoya said they were satisfied with Mumbengegwi’s explanation.

“We are happy with the explanation he gave us,” Phoya said. “The minister took time to explain what happened and we have appreciated that.”

Phoya said as Sadc their role was to give advice to Zimbabwe and not to dictate the pace.

“As Sadc brothers, we are supposed to give advice. If we think that from here and there they are tripping, we give advice,” he said. He blamed the media for taking slants on issues of importance thereby confusing the population.