Zimbabwe's government is reportedly warning France it has no
moral authority to criticize Zimbabwe's human rights record during Wednesday's
United Nations Human Rights Council's meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Zimbabwe
ambassador Enos Mafembe said France's role in Corsica and Rwanda's 1994
genocide should prevent it from criticizing any other country's human rights
record. This comes after Rwanda recently accused France of complicity in the
1994 genocide in which over 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus were
slaughtered by Hutu militias, a charge Paris denies.
Mafembe adds that France, which currently holds the presidency of the European
Union (EU), should not become what it called a mouthpiece for the British Labor
regime and other racist groups. George Mkwananzi is the deputy chairperson of
the National Constitutional Assembly. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from
South Africa's capital, Pretoria that Zimbabwe's rhetoric is irresponsible.
fact I find it quite disturbing that at a time when Zimbabwe needs to adopt a
conciliatory stance in the diplomatic and international community, it has
decided to be invective and insult people. You know if they point out that
Zimbabwe's human rights record leaves a lot to be desired, there is no reason
to throw back insults to those that are condemning Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe simply
has to correct those things that are being condemned. It is true that the human
rights record of Zimbabwe is not a good one," Mkwananzi noted.
described Zimbabwe's statement at the UN human rights summit in Geneva as
were unfortunate and reckless statements to come from such a senior official.
Indeed if you utter such statements, you actually alienate even those that were
intending to assist with some financial packages to rescue a battered economy
such as our economy in Zimbabwe. And it doesn't' end there. France is a member
of the EU and EU is a very influential and powerful international grouping, and
for Zimbabwe to say such a reckless statement indeed that will make them
postpone or even defer indefinitely whatever assistance they might have been
contemplating sending towards Zimbabwe," he said.
said it was high time Zimbabwe arrests its poor human rights record.
is nothing wrong with France or the world body in criticizing Zimbabwe. What is
important and what is paramount is that Zimbabwe must begin to put its act
together and position itself for reconstruction and reconciliation with the
rest of the world. And I find the statement from the ambassador quite
disturbing to say the least," Mkwananzi pointed out.