Mnangagwa claims he refused to sign Queen’s book of condolences

President Mnangagwa


PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has claimed that he refused to go to the British embassy in Harare to sign the book of condolences following the death of Queen Elizabeth 11 earlier this month.

According to The Herald newspaper, Mnangagwa made the remarks while addressing Zanu PF supporters in the United States where he attended to the United Nations General Assembly.

The Zimbabwean leader said he cited sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe by Britain and its western allies. The sanctions include travel bans against those affected.

In terms of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, embassies and consulates are legally considered the territories of countries they represent.

“I said Zimbabwe can never walk to the United Kingdom or to the embassy, … I cannot violate the territory of the United Kingdom; at the time we were in Angola,” said Mnangagwa.

Queen Elizabeth 11 died on September 8 aged 96 after reigning for 70 years, making her the United Kingdom’s longest serving monarch.

Mnangagwa told supporters in New York that he initially refused to go to the British embassy in Harare to sign the book condolences.

“When the Queen (Elizabeth II) passed on recently, I was invited to go and write my condolences at the British Embassy in Harare. So my Foreign Affairs (and International Trade) Minister (Ambassador Frederick Shava) went there and he told me that the Australian and Canadian ambassadors were there waiting for me to come,” he explained.

“I then sent a message to the Foreign Affairs Minister to come back because I was not going there.

“The reason is, the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on us and we cannot go to the United Kingdom because of sanctions, so I said in terms of international conventions, the Embassy is a territory of the United Kingdom and I didn’t want to breach those sanctions.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa signs book of condolences in the presence of British ambassador to Harare Melanie Robinson

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