Zimbabwe’s ruling political party, ZANU-PF, is threatening to expel the US ambassador for allegedly funding anti-government protests inside the country.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that ZANU-PF was referring to Ambassador Brian Nichols as part of a “gang gang”, accusing him of “mobilizing and financing riots, coordinating violence and training insurgents.”
“Our leadership does not hesitate to give him marching orders,” the party added. “Diplomats shouldn’t act like thieves and Brian Nichols should be a thief.”
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nadi fired in a tweet, calling the party̵7;s statement “deeply offensive.”
“We called the ambassador of Zimbabwe to explain,” Nagy said.
Comments from #ZANUPF – unfortunately, not surprisingly – are deeply offensive. We called the ambassador of Zimbabwe for an explanation. https://t.co/dWjDEVqZqM
– Tibor Nagy (@AsstSecStateAF) July 28, 2020
ZANU-PF used to be the party of longtime leader Robert Mugabe until his death in 2017.
He elected Emmerson Mnangagwa to replace Mugabe, and Mnangagwa now serves as the country’s third president since the overthrow of the majority government in 1980.
Activists are putting pressure on Mnangagwa amid allegations of corruption and serious economic trouble for the South African nation, and the US Embassy in Harare has repeatedly called on the government to respect human rights in recent weeks.
Under Mugabe, Western ambassadors were regularly threatened with deportation.