Zimbabwe’s presidential spokesperson, George Charamba has a piece of advice to U.S critics of its human rights record– to “go hang on a banana tree.”
The statement which was from President Mugabe’s spokesperson was published on Tuesday.
On Monday, the US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry K Thomas Jr criticized the Zimbabwean government for its human rights record which he described as deteriorating.
Ambassador Thomas’ statement came as a result of the arrest of Zim Pastor Evan Mawarire who launched a campaign against Mugabe to protest the economic, political and social situation in Zimbabwe which brought no significant change to the life of Zimbabweans.
He was arrested upon his return to Zimbabwe, having fled the country in 2016. The government claimed he is being charged with subverting the government, a charge which holds a penalty of 20 years imprisonment. Mawarire’s fate is yet to be decided in court.
“The US Government unequivocally believes in the basic right to freedom of speech and calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to respect the human rights of all Zimbabwean citizens which are enshrined in the constitution,
“We believe that the basic right of Zimbabweans to freedom of speech — be it in public, through print media, or social media — should be protected within and outside Zimbabwe’s borders,” the US Embassy said in a statement.
Charamba described the current U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe as “a leftover from a terrible era”. Ambassador Thomas was appointed during the Obama administration which suffered a strain in US-Zim ties.
Acknowledging President Trump’s earlier decision to call back all ambassadors appointed by the Obama administration, Charamba mocked Thomas, implying that he cannot be the boss of Zimbabweans and he can “go hang on a banana tree.”
On the other hand, the Zimbabwean government is waiting for the United States to initiate a move towards a new Zimbabwe-US relations.
“We are waiting for a cue from a new government,” the state-run Herald quoted presidential spokesperson George Charamba as saying.