ADDS US AMBASSADOR'S STATEMENT
By Jeffrey Moyo
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AA) – Zimbabwe summoned the US ambassador in Harare on Monday after a top adviser to President Donald Trump accused the poverty-hit nation of orchestrating ongoing protests in the US over the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.
Protests have erupted in many parts of the US, including across from the White House, over the death of George Floyd, who died after being pinned down by officer Derek Chauvin during his arrest on May 25 in the state of Minnesota.
Video footage circulating online shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly says he cannot breathe.
Shortly after, Floyd appeared to lose consciousness, but Chauvin maintained his position on the victim.
He died shortly after being taken to a hospital.
“Zimbabwe does not consider itself America's adversary. We prefer having friends and allies to having unhelpful adversity with any other nation including the USA,” Nick Mangwana, a senior official of Zimbabwe's Information Ministry, said on Twitter.
But Brian Nichols, the US ambassador to Zimbabwe, would have none of this after meeting with the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sibusiso Moyo, reminding him of the African nation’s worst rights violations.
“Zimbabweans surely wonder when, after so many years, Patrick Nabanyama, Itai Dzamara and Paul Chizuze will get justice. Americans will continue to speak out for justice whether at home or abroad,” said Nichols in a statement, referring to long-missing rights activists from the Southern African nation.
Unlike in Zimbabwe, said Nichols, where rights activists have vanished without a trace, "Mr. Floyd’s killer was charged with murder in days."
Trump’s National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien gave an interview Sunday to the country’s broadcaster ABC claiming foreign adversaries were capitalizing on the ongoing protests in the US, pinpointing Zimbabwe and China in particular.
He said he saw tweets from Chinese who were "taking pleasure and solace in the chaos in America," adding all foreign adversaries involved would not "get away with it."
Floyd's death has drawn criticism from the African Union Commission and the UN.
In a statement released Thursday, UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet called the incident the latest in “a long line of killings of unarmed African-Americans by US police officers and members of the public.”