By Beatrice Chabaya

The Zambian government has expressed concern over Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent remarks while in Russia that Western influence is growing in Zambia.

Mnangagwa, during his meeting with Russian President Vladmir Putin on the sidelines of the recently held St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), claimed that the Americans were consolidating their power in Zambia through security and financial support.

“You see, the west has just begun consolidating its power in Zambia, our next door neighbour. 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” Mnangagwa complained.

In response, Foreign Affairs Minister Mulambo Haimbe says government is seeking intervention from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), stating that Mnangagwa’s comments constitute an unwarranted attack on Zambia’s sovereignty.

“Zambia is a peace loving nation whose desire is to pursue friendly relations with all nations including the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Russian Federation and United States of America among others. For example, not long ago, in March this year, Zambia was one of the first countries that called upon the United States of America and the European Union to remove sanctions against Zimbabwe when the United States imposed new sanctions,” he said in the National Assembly on Thursday evening.

Haimbe further stated that Zambia has no interest in moving away from its long standing warm relations with either Zimbabwe, Russia or with western partners.

He said there is need to find a lasting solution to the matters at hand through an appropriate mediation process which should result in measurable outcomes.

“It is in this context that we have sought the regional body’s urgent and immediate intervention in relation to the present and any other matters in seeming contention between Zimbabwe and ourselves. Ours is to enhance economic diplomacy, peace, security and stability in the region and beyond for the mutual benefit of our collective citizens. However, that notwithstanding, Zambia remains a sovereign state whose sovereignty must be respected and will be protected,” he could concluded.

©️Zambia Reports, June 21, 2024.