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PF lashes out after Obama calls for reforms
Bell, SW Radio Africa
Calls by US
President Barack Obama for real reforms
in Zimbabwe ahead of elections have angered Zanu-PF, with party
loyalists accusing the American leader of ‘meddling’
and ‘insulting’ Africans.
Obama made the
remarks while in South Africa over the weekend, as part of his official
tour of African nations. He told reporters that bad governance in
Zimbabwe was responsible for the country’s problems, including
the destruction of the economy.
look at Zimbabwe, it used to be one of the wealthiest countries
on the continent. And that governance has led to an economic disaster.
It’s now starting to come back. And thanks to the work of
people like President (Jacob) Zuma, there’s an opportunity
now to move into a new phase where perhaps Zimbabwe can finally
achieve all its promise. But that requires fair and free elections,
and it requires those currently in power in Zimbabwe to recognise
that the interest of all people have to be served there,”
reacted with anger, which could clearly be seen in the party’s
mouthpiece newspaper the Herald on Monday. The newspaper criticised
Obama for “abusing his visit to South Africa to meddle in
Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.” The paper also quoted
a number of Zanu-PF loyal ‘analysts’ like Jonathan Moyo,
Charity Manyeruke and war vets leader Jabulani Sibanda, who offered
quoted as saying that Zimbabwe is a sovereign nation “governed
by its laws not the opinions of foreigners,” and the country
“doesn’t want interference from foreigners.” Moyo
meanwhile described Obama’s statements as “insults to
Zimbabweans and progressive South Africans.” Manyeruke was
also scathing, saying Obama “wants to see Zimbabwe turn into
another Somalia so that the Americans can come in and plunder the
Clifford Mashiri said Obama’s comments are welcome, and reflect
the widespread concerns of Zimbabwean civil society and citizens.
He said the Zanu-PF reaction is unsurprising.
expected that Zanu-PF would react in a nasty and hostile way. This
is how they always react when they are being told things they do
not want to hear,” Mashiri said.
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