By Robert Tapfumaneyi
GOVERNMENT has issued a chilling threat against exiled former minister Saviour Kasukuwere and top MDC politician Job Sikhala for allegedly peddling “false” claims of an imminent coup in the country.
Addressing the press at Munhumutapa Building on Wednesday, Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe also warned some western diplomats for allegedly behaving like opposition activists in their condemnation of alleged rights abuses by the Harare administration.
The minister said claims of an imminent coup against President Emmerson Mnangagwa meant to undermine government’s legitimacy and render the country ungovernable.
“Government would like to sternly warn purveyors of this medley of falsehoods, who include such characters as Saviour Kasukuwere, Job Sikhala and a coterie of their accomplices who we are aware of, not to cry foul when the long arm of Zimbabwean law catches up with them,” Kazembe said.
“They peddle this false narrative through opposition aligned print and electronic media, including such non attributable internet-based platforms as Gambakwe Media, Nehanda Radio, Zimeye and various anti-government hashtags and thousands of trolls.”
Kazembe was accompanied by the country’s security commanders.
He added, “There is quite a number of Civil Society Organisations (COS)s which have also enlisted onto this illegal subversive bandwagon under the control of certain diplomatic missions accredited to Harare.
“This narrative, which also sets an agenda for and promotes negative political activism, including coordinated fake abductions and media campaigns, has of late roped in several self-proclaimed local and international prophets.
“These include one US-based Nathan Humbyrd of the so-called Miracle Ministries, Talent Chiwenga, a self-styled rabid anti-Government Harare First Street preacher, Simon Chiloh of the so-called Deeds of Christ Ministries and a few others.”
Commenting on diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe, Kazembe said their behaviour was in violation of international law.
“Most intriguingly, there has concurrently evolved a palpable pattern whereby certain foreign missions accredited to Zimbabwe are now in the habit of misleading their capitals through purported intelligence gathered from these same dubious sources,” he said.
“Some foreign diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe have, quite often not shied from engaging in anti-government activism, which renders it difficult to differentiate them from card carrying members of the opposition.
“They also have in the process, brazenly jettisoned any semblance of diplomatic impartiality and finesse in blatant violation of the peremptory norms of international law.”
Kazembe said, “this has resulted in the quite surprisingly adversarial stands and policies that some of the big powers are then projecting and unashamedly pronouncing against Zimbabwe”.
“Some foreign capitals have also tried to arrogate unto themselves, based on these false narratives, the choice of nations that Zimbabwe should relate with,” he said.
The minister further said the negative image portrayed of the country’s under-fire administration had the effect of scarring away potential investors.
“This sadly is the strategic intent of these political malcontents,” he said.