Foreign Affairs Minister, Sibusiso Moyo yesterday said the statement made by the US ambassador on the Anti-Sanctions Day exhibited a clear contravention of acceptable etiquette.
The Minister said the statement was grossly partisan in nature, and reflected not only a worrying lack of respect for the host government but was also abusive of the hospitality of the people of Zimbabwe as a whole.
“Whilst we are a welcoming, extremely tolerant and friendly people, it would be a mistake for these qualities to be misinterpreted by any diplomat to mean that we will simply ignore or tolerate any form of insult or abuse,” Moyo said.
“We genuinely seek dialogue with all well-meaning countries as part of our re-engagement efforts. But our openness and the innate generosity of spirit of all Zimbabweans should not be taken for granted and should certainly not be abused.”
The Minister went on to refer to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and said the treaty does not permit Embassies to conduct themselves like opposition citadels, pre-occupying themselves with the constant casting of aspersions, innuendo and even insults at the host country.
“It follows, therefore that the conduct of any diplomat which is openly inimical to the promotion of friendly relations is far removed from the core objectives of the Convention and cannot simply be ignored,” Moyo said.
“Moreover, no diplomatic, let alone an Ambassador, should allow themselves to behave or to conduct themselves like some kind of opposition member, with complete disregard for all norms of permissible diplomatic protocol.”
“Persistent behaviour of this nature will test the patience of even the most tolerant amongst us. It would be a sad day if dialogue between the US Embassy and this Ministry, and Government more broadly, were to collapse completely under its present leadership, such that we would end up just ignoring or even avoiding each other.”
Relations between Zimbabwe and the United States of America have continued strained due to sanctions on the African state.
USA’s position is that Zimbabwe should reform first for sanctions to be removed.
Zimbabwe calls for the unconditional removal of the embargoes which it has deemed “illegal”.
Zimbabwe’s government, just like Mugabe’s administration blames foreign diplomats, especially from the West of sponsoring opposition parties and civil society organisation in a regime change agenda.
Barely 24 hours after the anti-sanctions march, one other Zimbabwean Minister was added to the sanctions list.
“Compounding these statements was the wholly unjustified imposition of US sanctions on the Honourable Owen Ncube, Minister of State Security,” Moyo commented.