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Western envoys fail to denounce MDC-T violence





European Union ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Philippe van Damme and the UK envoy to Harare Ms Catriona Laing could not openly denounce the MDC-T violence that saw one of its vice presidents Ms Thokozani Khupe bashed by the opposition party hooligans in Bulawayo on Sunday. Also assaulted were MDC-T national chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo and organising secretary Mr Abednico Bhebhe.

The affected have fingered party leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the assault.

The hooligans were bussed from Harare to cause mayhem in Bulawayo.

On Saturday, the thugs had attended the launch of the MDC-Alliance at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield, Harare, where they provided security as confirmed by pictures that have gone viral on social media.

While Mr Tsvangirai hurriedly convened a Press conference at his Highlands house in Harare, where he tried to implicate the State in the internal party fights, on twitter Mr van Damme was stammering and could not openly condemn the MDC-T.

So was Ms Laing.

A war of words erupted between Mr van Damme and Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, who wanted Mr van Damme to explicitly condemn the MDC-T violence instead of generalising it.

Tweeted Mr van Damme: "All violence, incl intra or inter-party violence should be consistently condemned by all pol and moral leaders".

"Come on Mr EU, Let us hear you specifically condemning this one without making phoney excuses about "all" when we are faced with one!" retorted Prof Moyo.

But the EU envoy tried to hide behind a finger.

"The generic term ALL includes this specific case and the shameful, minimising related comments. No ambiguity", responded Mr van Damme.

Prof Moyo continued the onslaught on Mr van Damme.

"Sadly it's this kind of generic nonsense that leaves you bereft of credibility!"

It was only then that Mr van Damme vainly condemned the MDC-T violence saying "This violence and Hwende's shameful comments should be condemned without any ambiguity."

On Sunday MDC-T deputy treasurer-general Mr Chalton Hwende appeared to condone the violence saying the victims deserved it.

The UK's Ms Laing also blanketed the MDC-T violence only tweeting, "In solidarity with women fighting for their voice #Zimbabwe politics and condemnation of political thuggery whoever is behind it."

Interestingly, the EU and its Western embassies are quick to condemn Zanu-PF on allegations of violence even without an iota of evidence linking the ruling party to it.

Last night political analyst Mr Tafadzwa Mugwadi slammed the envoys for double standards.

"It puts paid to the long and undisputed narrative that democracy which abhors violence in either form or context exists for the EU only when it suits their regime change agenda. We have known Jean Claude van Damme, who is a popular actor in violent movies and after the circus of this other version of van Damme, the world should be awakened to the hypocrisy of the new van Damme in the diplomatic circles.

"The EU has been undressed in its democracy agenda by the sentiments of Phillipe van Damme. Violence runs high in the MDC DNA because initially, the regime change agenda was supposed to be achieved peacefully or violently as Tsvangirai once retorted. As such, the undiplomatic rants of HE ambassador Philippe van Damme should not surprise us, though regrettable in a stable and peace loving country like Zimbabwe."

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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