Diplomatic Feud Brewing Between Zimbabwe & United States over Floyd Protests
US Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio and National Security Advisor, Robert O’ Brien have both fired salvos at Zimbabwe and other countries that are standing with Americans protesting the death of George Floyd, accusing them of stoking violence.
Zimbabweans, mostly from the government bench took to various social media platforms expressing concern over the death of Floyd and demanded that US authorities investigate the matter and leave no stone unturned.
Floyd died after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Footage of the arrest on May 25 shows a White Police Officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd's neck while he was pinned to the floor. Floyds distressing pleas to be let off so he could breathe touched many people across the globe, Zimbabweans included.
However, US officials are not taking kindly to this and have warned that the 'foreign adversaries’ will not get away scot free. They said the countries were just taking advantage of the protests.
Speaking on ABC news channel, O’ Brien said countries (like Zimbabwe) were not democratic like the US which allowed the full course of justice to take its course.
"I want to tell our foreign adversaries whether its Zimbabwe or China that the difference between us and you, is that the officer who killed Floyd will be investigated and prosecuted and receive a fair trial". He added that Americans who wanted to go out and protest peacefully are going to be allowed by the government to seek redress and will not be thrown into jail for protesting.
Robert C O' Brien, Security Advisor to President Trump (C) BBC.com)
In a veiled threat he said, "This is not something that our adversaries are going to get away with for free".
Senator Rubi said some countries were actively stoking and promoting violence and confrontation from multiple angles.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe’s Presidential Spokesperson, George Charamba has said Zimbabwe might find it necessary to summon the United States of America’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian A. Nichols to question him on the violent protests in America.
Senator Marco Rubio of Texas, USA (C) www.rubio.senate.gov
"I think the Zimbabwean government should summon the US Ambassador to explain the goings-on in the US!! This is an unusual, continuing, and extraordinary grave threat to Zimbabwe's strategic interest globally!!! And of course, a grave threat to international peace requiring invocation of UN Chapter 7," Mr. Charamba said.
Mr. Charamba also noted that the SADC Standby force was ready to be deployed: "Clearly the Administration is unable to protect US citizens, in which case responsibility to protect structures must kick in. The SADC standby brigade is supremely ready to deploy at all maximum means and capabilities needed to put out this raging fire!!!"
The SADC Brigade, which was launched in August 2008, is made up of military, police, and civilian members from SADC Member States.
The Permanent Secretary at the Information Ministry, Nick Mangwana said "Zimbabwe does not consider itself America's adversary. We prefer having friends and allies to having unhelpful adversity with any other nation including the USA".