France denies backing Harare protests

HARARE - French ambassador to Zimbabwe Laurent Delahousse denied yesterday State accusations that he backed street protests and a national work boycott which shut businesses and paralysed the public transport system in Harare last week.

Delahousse told the Daily News that the accusations were “ridiculous and silly.”

France and America were accused by government of fuelling protests here, with Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo and Information secretary George Charamba laying the charges.

Chombo told the lickspittle State media last weekend: “We have gathered from our intelligence that there was involvement of western embassies in all these disturbances that have been taking place.

“The evidence that we have gathered so far shows that the French embassy in Harare and other embassies are part of this plot as part of their regime change machinations.”

The newspaper reported that US ambassador Harry Thomas had in May met one of Delahousse was “believed to have met (Evan) Mawarire several times”.

While Thomas did not want to respond to the accusations, Delahousse said the accusations were fibs.

“This is absolutely ridiculous.  I have never met or spoken with pastor Mawarire. I am in Zimbabwe to help Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans. I am here to bring French companies to invest in Zimbabwe and I have been doing that,” Delahousse told the Daily News yesterday.

“I am the one who inspired Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s visit to Paris. How can I be fuelling riots? I deny the allegations in the strongest terms. Some people are losing control, they had better work on the situation which is causing Zimbabweans to protest and address police brutality.”

Dismissing the accusations as silly, Delahousse added that the sentiments by the government officials will not affect relations between Zimbabwe and France.

“I am here to help build relations with Zimbabwe and we are re-engaging. Those relations are built on friendship and trust. These silly accusations will not change anything. We will continue engaging to see the full normalisation of relations,” he said.

Delahousse travelled to Paris with Chinamasa, where the minister got a chance to meet with 20 French companies.

An official from the US embassy public affairs section said they had seen the allegations and declined to comment on the matter.

However, in his remarks to mark American independence, ambassador Thomas said the American activities in Zimbabwe are guided by a sense of freedom and fairness.

“I know that many of you in Zimbabwe — along with others around the world — are watching the US election campaign.

“Indeed, not a day goes by when we are not asked who will win.  We do not know but what we do know is that it will be free, fair, and violence-free and that winners will celebrate and losers will concede graciously — and plan for the next election, just as Zimbabweans are working towards free, fair and violence-free elections in 2018.   

“It is this same sense of freedom and fairness that guides our engagement across a range of activities in Zimbabwe,” Thomas said last week.

The French and the American embassies have been vocal in speaking out against human rights violations in Zimbabwe, including  the abduction of missing human rights activist Itai Dzamara.

Comments (4)

Smething is brewing here.Mujuru is talking of becoming interim president.This belief of hers intensified since she came back wth Khupe frm Europe to recieve that awzrd for women.She had meetings there.She met pple.She is spoiling for riots,for what?Fishy stink.clunk.

viola gwena - 12 July 2016

Not for a second do I doubt that foreign governments aren't eyeing the situation with keen interest hoping to ingratiate themselves with the next leader and thereby gain special status and access to what is left of our dwindling precious resources? But I absolutely guarantee you that it isn't just the French, Americans or British so involved because the truth is that many others including the Asians and Israelis are playing the exact same game. But to now try and blame them for our current state of affairs is absurd and an excuse that nobody listens to anymore. Mugabe and his regime are responsible for mishandling the economy and allowing such corruption.....not anyone else.

Mbewa - 13 July 2016

Tete Viola yu maybe correct bt rite now,anybordy else is better than mugabe.Even Roy Burnet can be a better president.

hove - 13 July 2016

Chirombo & Chiramba must be employing grade 2 drop-outs in their "intelligence" troopers

Sagitarr - 14 July 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.