‘lsolated’ Mnangagwa cajoles Russia’s Putin for defence support, expresses worry over cosy US-Zambia relations

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By James Muonwa

IN a crass display of diplomatic etiquette, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has attacked Zimbabwe’s neighbours, Zambia, for creating mutually beneficial ties with the United States of America (US), which has sustained decades-long sanctions against his cabal.

In a viral video, the 81-year-old Zanu PF leader is captured in St Petersburg, Russia, telling Russian President Vladimir Putin how the Americans are consolidating their relationship on the security front with the northern neighbour.

Mnangagwa apparently begs Putin to give support to Zimbabwe militarily inorder to be able to counter any possible threats to its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The West have just begun consolidating their power in Zambia, our next neighbour. You know, there was a time that Zambia and Zimbabwe were one, it was called Northern and Southern Rhodesia. It was one but we’re now separate.

“The Americans are consolidating their power in that country, both in terms of security and financial support to Zambia, to make sure that we feel lonely,” said Mnangagwa.

“Zimbabwe considers the Russian Federation as a consistent global ally. Strength lies in our unity, adaptability and innovation.”

The octogenarian leader met Putin at Konstantino Palace for one-on-one talks ahead of the 27th St Petersburg International Economic Forum, which opened Wednesday.

Mnangagwa’s rants accusing the US of setting military bases in Zambia highlight frosty relations between the neighbouring countries.
Diplomatic relations between Zimbabwe and Zambia, historically marked by mutual support, have deteriorated under the leadership of Mnangagwa and Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, a former opposition leader.

Commenting on the latest diplomatic gaffe, self-exiled former Foreign Affairs minister, Walter Mzembi described Mnangagwa’s sentiments as unfortunate, moreso coming from an incoming Chairperson of regional power bloc, Southern African Development Community (SADC).

“Something is terribly amiss with our Statecraft, this presentation by an incoming Chairperson of SADC against a Member State to a foreign Head of State is extremely unfortunate. I will leave it at that suffice to say, l am extremely shocked by this recklessness,” said Mzembi.

Netizens were also ruthless with Mnangagwa’s uncalculated statements.

“It’s a show of shame. His unsolicited utterances x-ray a poor man’s mentality on a rich man’s table.”

Another posted, “No one asked him about his neighbours and their affairs. But because he’s trying to secure a favour, he’s using such unnecessary information which Putin is already aware of.”

“You make him sound like a little boy complaining to his father about how the other boys are being preferred over him and how this is so unfair,” another posted.