Mnangagwa Spies On Zambia
9 June 2024
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By Political Reporter- President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reported the Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, accusing him (Hichilema) of aligning with the West.

Mnangagwa said Hichilema was getting military and financial aid.

Mnangagwa, who assumes the SADC chairmanship this year, said Zambia is a Western puppet that Moscow must combat.

In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Konstantinosky Palace in the Petrodvorets district of St. Petersburg, Strelna village, two days ago, at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia, Mnangagwa said the United States of America is consolidating its power in Zambia to isolate Zimbabwe. He said:

You see, the West has just begun consolidating its power in Zambia, our next neighbour. You know, there was a time when Zambia and Zimbabwe were one; it was called Northern and Southern Rhodesia.

It was made by the British, but they are now separate. And the Americans are consolidating their power in that country, both in terms of security and in terms of financial support to Zambia to make sure that we feel lonely.

But that will not change us, because we have taken a course as a people that we feel we want to be independent and we will choose our friends ourselves.

And besides, we are independent today because most of us in the leadership trained here during our war of liberation.

We got our independence because we are supported by you here, and we don’t forget that history, and you don’t forget about us.

Mnangagwa’s remarks have sparked debate on social media as they expose Harare’s uneasiness over her neighbour’s choice of friends.

A Zambian diplomat based in Harare told The NewsHawks:

That was reckless by President Mnangagwa. Zimbabwe and Zambia are neighbours with a close history as he said himself, dating back to the federation days.

Besides, he grew up in Zambia; to all intents and purposes he is also Zambian. So how can he talk toxic stuff like that as if he is an irresponsible opposition leader. Moreover, in a foreign country, in far-flung Russia.

This will unnecessarily stoke diplomatic tensions between Harare and Lusaka, given the dispute over the Zimbabwean elections last year and the coming SADC summit.

Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson George Charamba suggested that video footage of Mnangagwa’s meeting with Putin was leaked. 

Responding to an X (formerly Twitter) user who had queried why Mnangagwa made the remarks about Zambia in public, suggesting that some in his inner circle “are deliberately setting him up”, Charamba said:

Why don’t you ask about the circumstances before jumping to condemnation? As you can see from the set-up, this was a closed meeting in which the President of Zimbabwe was a guest.

The recording was in-house to the host. Don’t ask me how it found its way into the public domain; I cannot assist you.

Indeed one-on-one meetings are moments of truths and impressions unadorned and said in confidence.

All Heads do that in such meetings, always with the attendant risks of such lapses. Nothing extraordinary.

In April last 2023, the US Africa Command (Africom) announced it was setting up an office in Zambia. Africom has bases across Africa.

Zambia and many other African countries are close to the US and other Western democracies, while some states like Zimbabwe and South Africa are allies of China and Russia which are under authoritarian governments.