Zim/EU relations: Mnangagwa refuses ‘conditional’ friendship

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday at the Anti- Corruption launch in the capital ,declared that his government’s re-engagement drive will not emasculate Harare and leave it susceptible to EU bloc’s conditions and dictates of how to protect its citizens’ rights, Zim Morning Post can report.

This comes on the backdrop of the Western diplomatic community’s joint local statement on police brutality against the opposition MDC sanctioned demonstrations.

In a frank and bold tone, Mnangagwa  put it to the EU Head of Delegation, Timo  Olkkonen, that the observance of rule of law is not needed for the purposes of pleasing other countries but people of Zimbabwe.

He made it clear that cordial diplomatic relations are not guided by ‘strings attached’.

Mnangagwa’s punch back came after Olkkonen had openly castigated Harare for allegedly not upholding the rule of law making reference to the police action on protestors in the August 16 illegal demonstrations.

Your Excellence (Timo Olkkonen) You referred to human rights, however, this platform was for corruption. May I urge civil society to restrict themselves to their mandate.

The rule of law observance is not needed for the purpose of pleasing other countries, we need it because it is proper for ourselves,” said Mnangagwa 

Olkkonen had accused Mnangagwa of acting in complete negation of his pledge to adhere to the constitution and uphold the rule of law.

“Civil society and citizens have a key role to play in fighting corruption through monitoring government actions, whistle-blowing, demonstrating and to petition among other actions.

“They should be afforded democratic spaces to fully participate lawfully and peacefully without unnecessary restrictions and without being beaten, unlawfully arrested and detained.

“The EU calls on the government to improve efforts towards bringing perpetrators to book following due processes in accordance with the law,” he said.

However, despite EU bloc ‘s claim that Harare is not abiding to the rule of law, there were reports of envoys nicodemusly having talks with top MDC officials on the eve of the illegal protests.

Last week, the High Court issued a Prohibitive Order to stop the protests after perusal and duly considerations of submissions made by the Zimbabwe Republic Police who dissected and unearthed  the ulterior motives and intentions of the demos reached after exhausting their police work and discovering of weapons that had potential to disturb peace.

MDC has however vowed to continue with the illegal demos claiming that it forms part of their constitutional rights.

The EU block Wednesday, made it clear that they are on the same wavelength with the opposition and insinuating that the judge who issued the Prohibitive Order is not a reasonable officer of the law.