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Zim govt accuses western diplomats of interfering in internal affairs

The embassies of the European Union, United Kingdom, France, the United States and Canada issued a joint statement on Tuesday criticising President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government for cracking down on recent MDC-led protests.

Police action in Harare, Zimbabwe on 16 August 2019. Picture: Lovejoy Mutongwiza/@263Chat/Twitter

HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has hit back at western diplomats in the capital Harare accusing them of interfering in the country's internal affairs.

The embassies of the European Union, United Kingdom, France, the United States and Canada issued a joint statement on Tuesday criticising President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government for cracking down on recent Movement for Democratic Change-led protests.

The Zimbabwean government has been stung by the criticism. Five days after the police used batons and teargas to disperse protestors and bystanders in central Harare, the embassies criticised the recent intimidations and attacks on opposition activists, urging government to uphold constitutional rights.

Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana said their statement was intrusive and judgmental.

He said bans on street protests first in Harare and then in Bulawayo were upheld by the courts, adding that western envoys were encouraging public disorder.

Mnangagwa’s government believes it has made progress in implementing democratic reforms but few agree.