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Statement on protests during US Ambassador visit to Mutare
January 16, 2013
to the protests today, January 16, which prevented Ambassador Wharton
from engaging in a dialogue with the citizens of Manicaland at the
Turner Memorial Library in Mutare, the U.S. Embassy releases the
While the U.S.
values the right to peaceful protest, and notes it as a critical
element of democracy, we regret that the roughly 130 ZANU-PF protestors
were not interested in a conversation. Ambassador Wharton spent
about 15-20 minutes listening to their messages - written
on placards, and verbal - but was met with no opportunity
for constructive conversation.
The U.S. Ambassador
recognizes the critical need to work together to build a way forward
but believes that this must begin with a respectful sharing of ideas.
is on his first visit to Manicaland with a schedule that includes
visits to USAID projects and meetings with businesspeople, academics,
local authorities, and citizens. Please find attached the remarks
that Ambassador Wharton was planning to give at the Turner Memorial
Library public event.
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