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Mnangagwa faces backlash for criticising Zambia, President Hichilema in talks with Russia


Former Special Assistant to the President on Policy & Project Implementation and Monitoring, Jack Kalala, has described President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent remarks about Zambia as undiplomatic and cheap.

While visiting Russia, Mnangagwa complained to President Vladimir Putin about how Western countries were favoring Zambia and Malawi.

He remarked: “You see, the West has just begun consolidating its power in Zambia, our next neighbor. There was a time when Zambia and Zimbabwe were one; it was called Northern and Southern Rhodesia. It was made one by the British, but they are now separate.

“And the Americans are consolidating their power in that country, both in terms of security and financial support to Zambia to make sure that we feel lonely.”

The video of Mnangagwa’s comments had gone viral on social media, prompting Kalala to criticise Mnangagwa for his undiplomatic behavior.

Read more: Zimbabwean President, Mnangagwa, stokes tension as video emerges of him reporting Zambia to Russia’s Putin

Kalala said it was unbecoming and cheap to speak ill of a fellow president to another while begging for help.

He also noted that the fact that Russia leaked the video of the private conversation indicated that President Putin did not agree with Mnangagwa’s conduct.

“The release of the video was a way to show his disgust and to expose President Mnangagwa’s indecent and deplorable behavior,” Kalala said.

Kalala also responded to Harry Kalaba’s statement suggesting that President Hichilema should send an emissary to Zimbabwe to mend strained diplomatic relations.

He questioned whether Kalaba, as a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and a presidential aspirant, had seriously considered Mnangagwa’s undiplomatic conduct before making his statement.

“Mr. Kalaba should have done some reading before issuing his inappropriate statement. He would have discovered that many Zimbabweans vehemently disagreed with their President’s embarrassing and demeaning misconduct. They found him wanting in statesmanship for speaking ill of a fellow President while begging for food and military aid. It smacked of bad manners on the part of President Mnangagwa,” Kalala said.

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