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US cannot be our national dialogue referee

15 Feb 2019 at 10:33hrs | Views
The continued United States (US) big brother mentality on Zimbabwean affairs cannot go unchallenged, as it undermines the country's sovereignty and independence. This time the Washington administration is trying by all means to directly influence Harare on the national dialogue initiated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 6 February 2019.

Last Tuesday, the US State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino issued a statement that is reminiscent of an MDC script originating from Morgan Tsvangirai House (formerly Harvest House).
"The US calls on sides to come together immediately in a national dialogue process that must be credible, inclusive and mediated by a neutral third party.

"In order for such dialogue to succeed, the government of Zimbabwe should end its excessive violence and intimidation, immediately release the civic society activists, who have been arbitrarily detained and hold security force members responsible for human rights violations and abuses accountable."

These orders by the Americans are absurd as they seek to directly undermine and influence a Zimbabwean matter that is set to be exclusively dealt with by Zimbabweans, as it is only for Zimbabweans.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the issue of a neutral arbiter suggested by the Americans was plucked out from the so called ten (10) pre-conditions for dialogue, set by Chamisa through his Chief of Staff, Sesel Zvidzai.

Recently, in line with his vision of uniting the nation, President Mnangagwa kick-started the dialogue process and invited to State House all the presidential candidates that participated in the last year's harmonised elections to map the framework for the proposed dialogue. MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, the US poster boy chose to snub this noble cause.

The biggest question is, why now, are the Americans so much interested to the extent of prescribing the terms and conditions of the dialogue process.

Since time immemorial, the West – and particularly the US – has a long history of meddling in political affairs, supporting of military coups, channelling funds to opposition political parties and spreading political propaganda in other countries.

Currently, the US is extending its hegemony in Latin America. The Donald Trump administration is directly interfering in the Venezuelan political affairs by publicly recognizing a self-proclaimed opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela at the expense of the incumbent Nicolas Maduro who was elected into office by his fellow countrymen.

The US is even contemplating sending troops to help Guaidó forcibly take power in Venezuela. In late 2017 and early 2018, Trump administration officials met with rebels in Venezuela to discuss their coup plans, according to a report by The New York Times.

Coming home, over the years it's an open secret that the US government has been working in cahoots with MDC since its formation, other smaller opposition parties and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to effect regime change agenda in the country.

So this latest interference in the dialogue process is nothing new, as the US and MDC are still reading from the same script.

It is against this background that Zimbabweans should stand firm and denounce any US interference in the national dialogue. Washington cannot be a referee in this matter and any attempts to influence the outcome of the dialogue process must be rejected with the contempt that it deserves.

Source - Christine Lethokuhle Mabhena
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