In a fervent address to the nation, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa issued a stern warning against any form of political interference by nations “pretending to be defenders of democracy”.
This comes in the wake of criticism from various international blocs, including the AU, Commonwealth, EU, and SADC, who have publicly denounced the August general elections in Zimbabwe as flawed and not meeting international and regional standards.
Despite the fact that its councillors and legislators have been sworn in, the opposition party, Citizens Coalition for Change, is calling for a new election.
This demand has been further complicated by recent calls from UK MPs for a re-evaluation of Zimbabwe’s bid to re-join the Commonwealth due to the widely criticised polls. The Commonwealth has set conditions for Zimbabwe’s re-entry, one of which includes holding credible general elections.
During a solemn ceremony at the burial of national hero Joshua Malinga at Heroes Acre in Harare, President Mnangagwa expressed his disdain for “colonial regimes” attempting to destabilise Zimbabwe by meddling in its affairs.
He reminded his audience of the arduous journey to liberation, highlighting the brutalities inflicted by the racist Rhodesian regime on the black majority in their quest to maintain dominance.
He stated, “The struggle to liberate Zimbabwe was not a walk in the park as the racist Rhodesian regime brutalised the black majority to preserve their dominance. Democracy did not come cheaply as many of our comrades lost life and limb in the gruelling struggle for our independence.”
He further criticised those who once supported the oppressive regime but now present themselves as advocates of democracy.
He vowed that Zimbabwe, as a sovereign nation, would not tolerate interference in its internal affairs.
President Mnangagwa also recalled how nationalist movements were repeatedly banned by the settler regime, echoing Ian Douglas Smith’s infamous “never in a thousand years” declaration. Despite these obstacles, he praised the determination of nationalists who formed successor movements that fought for and ultimately achieved the independence, democracy, and freedom that Zimbabwe enjoys today.