Fidelis Munyoro, Harare Bureau
THE United States has come under fire for working in cahoots with the country’s detractors by funding MDC-Alliance’s violent demonstrations in a futile attempt to overthrow President Mnangagwa’s legitimate Government.
This comes after finer details of how the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols actively encouraged senior MDC officials to press on with last Friday’s demonstrations by assuring them that Washington “would impose punitive measures should Government arrest or assault the protestors”.
According to our sister paper, The Sunday Mail, diplomatic sources privy to behind-the-scenes engagements between US embassy officials and the MDC leadership said the grand scheme is part of a broader co-ordinated project that also includes civil society organisations, some of which were planning protests against President Mnangagwa during the just ended Sadc Summit held in Tanzania.
Political analysts said the MDC-Alliance demonstrations that have since been banned, are a clear testimony of interference in local politics by Western nations.
“My take has been that we are seeing the extended hand of coloniality at play,” said Mr Mike Mhlanga, a political analyst with Leaders for Africa Network.
“For colonialists, their imperialist mind would want to control the domestic narrative in Zimbabwe, and the big problem emerges in that MDC ceases to think on their own and think on behalf of US foreign interests.”
He said the US aspirations were different from local aspirations and experiences.
“It’s very unfortunate that the US is attempting to redefine what democracy is to their own interests,” he said.
Mr Mhlanga also took a dig at MDC-Alliance deputy chairperson Mr Job Sikhala’s nexus with Ambassador Nichols, on the eve of the thwarted demonstrations.
Firebrand political and legal expert Mr Obert Gutu weighed in saying Zimbabwean political and socio-economic issues and challenges should be resolved by Zimbabweans, and not by “some super power somewhere treating us as lower human beings who deserve to be treated like puppets”.
“We respect the United States of America as a super power and a global political force but at the same time, the Americans and indeed, all other foreigners for that matter, should simply leave us to decide and determine our own destiny,” he said.
“Just look at the havoc that American political interference has brought about in Venezuela. Zimbabwe might be a small country but all the same, we are a sovereign and independent state and we don’t deserve to be treated like some satellite puppet state of the United States.”
On Mr Sikhala flirting with the US ambassador, Mr Gutu said: “I like Job Sikhala as a person. He actually spent some time in 2017 as a law student on attachment at my law firm. But with due respect to Job, he has got this tendency of getting over-excited and getting carried away by some of these issues.”
He said America had no business to tell “us how to run our politics here in Zimbabwe”. America, he said, has got its own serious internal political challenges.
“People of colour are being openly discriminated against and racially profiled,” Mr Gutu said.
“Far right white extremism is now a major concern in the United States. Put bluntly, the rise of white terrorism in the United States has led to frequent and rampant gun violence against innocent people like what recently happened in Texas.”
Another political analyst Mr Tinomudaishe Chinyoka said Mr Sikhala was ignorant of the fact that the US has no permanent friends, only permanent interests.
“In this case, they have clearly worked out that their interests are best served by funding Tendai Biti and Sikhala as the militant wing of the MDC,” he said.
“To what end, only the Americans know but one thing is for sure, it’s not for the benefit of Job Sikhala or Zimbabwe. Just the United States.”