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Zambian Foreign Minister Responds to Mnangagwa’s Russia Remarks

President Mnangagwa's Speech At The Opening Of The 10th Parliament

Zambia’s Foreign Minister, Mulambo Haimbe, has called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) to address Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent comments made during a visit to Russia.

During a meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at Konstantino Palace ahead of the 27th St Petersburg International Economic Forum recently, Mnangagwa claimed Zambia and Malawi have accepted the West’s alleged machinations to isolate Zimbabwe.

He also accused Zambia of allowing the United States of America to consolidate its military presence in the country.

Speaking in the Zambian Parliament yesterday, Haimbe said Mnangagwa’s comments were an “unwarranted attack on Zambia’s sovereignty.” He said:

The statements made by President Mnangagwa are not only baseless but also damaging to the spirit of unity and mutual respect that underpins our regional cooperation.

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We call upon SADC and the AU to address this matter decisively and conclusively to preserve the integrity of our regional partnerships.

Some Zimbabwean government officials say the presence of a United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) office in Lusaka threatens regional peace and stability.

However, Haimbe, in his address in Parliament, said the AFRICOM office in Lusaka is part of a broader initiative to enhance regional security cooperation and capacity-building. He said:

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The AFRICOM office is aimed at strengthening our security infrastructure and fostering greater cooperation in combating transnational threats.

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It should not be viewed as a security risk but rather as a testament to our commitment to regional peace and stability.

According to a transcript of the meeting between the Zimbabwean and Russian leaders posted on the Kremlin’s official website, Mnangagwa told Putin that the West has abandoned Zimbabwe “making us feel lonely”. He said:

We cannot go to the West; we have to come here because the West would want to see us down. They support our neighbours, Zambia and Malawi, very heavily.

But in spite of that, Zimbabwe’s economic growth is the fastest growing economy in the region, in spite of us being isolated by the Americans.

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