United States Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert issued a press statement denouncing violence, intimidation, or harassment of Zimbabweans saying they have no place in the new Zimbabwe.
Nauert also said that the US is set to review certain aspects of its cooperation with Zambia after the Southern African nation chose to hand over MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti to the Zimbabwean authorities in defiance of a Zambian court order blocking his expulsion from Zambia.
We publish the full statement below:
The United States government is gravely concerned by credible reports of numerous detentions, beatings, and other abuses of Zimbabweans over the past week, particularly targeting opposition activists. There should be no role for violence, intimidation, or harassment in the new Zimbabwe.
We are also deeply concerned that Zambia chose to hand over former Minister of Finance Tendai Biti to the Zimbabwean authorities, and in the face of a reported Zambian court order blocking his expulsion from Zambia.
This decision is particularly disheartening given the courage that Zambia showed in sheltering thousands of Zimbabwean freedom fighters from Rhodesian aggression in the days of Zimbabwe’s independence struggle. We will be discussing this matter with Zambia’s leaders and reviewing certain aspects of our cooperation with the Zambian government.
The Government of Zimbabwe is now responsible for Tendai Biti’s safety and welfare. We call on Zimbabwe’s leaders to guarantee Mr. Biti’s physical safety and ensure his constitutional and human rights are respected, consistent with the rule of law and Zimbabwe’s international obligations and commitments. In Washington, the United States has convoked the ambassadors of both Zimbabwe and Zambia to register our gravest concerns.
While Zimbabwe had a historic opportunity to move the country toward a brighter future for all its citizens, an electoral process marred by violence that does not respect constitutional rights and procedures is not a step toward that future.
Tendai Laxton Biti is the president of the People's Democratic Party, a prominent lawyer, activist, politician and Member of Parliament for Harare East. Biti was part of the founding team of the Movement for Democratic Change in 1999 together with Morgan Tsvangirai, Gibson Sibanda, Welshman... Read More About Tendai Biti
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The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country located in the Southern Africa region. Its capital city is :Harare and the country has 10 provinces. Zimbabwe is 390,580 sq km and is bordered on all sides by other countries (Zambia in the north, South Africa in... Read More About Zimbabwe