Zimbabwe protests Trump’s ‘hurtful, prejudicial language
GOVERNMENT yesterday protested recent utterances by US President Donald Trump branding Africa a “sh*thole” and urged Washington to dump its hurtful and prejudicial language, saying it had no place in contemporary times. Mr Trump last week referred to African countries as “sh*tholes” in remarks that ignited protests across the developing world. In statement yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said the statement by Mr Trump “has shocked and dismayed us”.
“The statement which was attributed to the USA’s President, Mr Donald J. Trump, on 11 January 2018, has shocked and dismayed us. “The USA is a prominent country of which the world expects the best example in its projection of democratic values, commitment to the fight against bigotry, upholding the civil rights of all of its people and generosity towards the less fortunate countries in the world,” said the ministry.
“We join fellow African countries and others in rejecting this unfortunate characterisation of our peoples and countries. “We all desire the amplification of positive relations with the USA, and would hope that care will be taken going forward to avoid jeopardising prospects for those relations through such hurtful and prejudicial language from any official quarter in the USA.”
The ministry said international relations must be based on mutual respect. “Zimbabwe, and we believe the majority of countries in the world, desire relations based on mutual acceptance and respect, values that serve and demonstrate the human family at its best. Bigotry and hate speech must find no place in contemporary statecraft and diplomatic discourse,” it said.
In condemning Mr Trump’s utterances, Zimbabwe joins other African countries that have expressed anger and dismay over the statement by the American leader. South African diplomats met US embassy’s Charge d’Affaires on Monday and raised concern over the unfortunate remarks by Mr Trump.
Its Department of International Relations and Cooperation said international reaction to the Trump remarks served as a united affirmation of the dignity of the people of Africa and the African Diaspora.
Ever since he made the statement, Mr Trump has tweeted retractions claiming that he is not a racist and that he never used such language during an Oval Office meeting on immigration last Thursday. Mr Trump said African countries alongside Haiti and El Salvador constituted “sh*tholes” from where migrants into the United States are undesirable”. The African Union has since expressed outrage and disappointment over the Trump remarks.
“The African Union Mission wishes to express its infuriation, disappointment and outrage over the unfortunate comment made by Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, which remarks dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity,” it said in a statement to the United States.
The AU demanded a retraction of the comment and an apology to Africans and all people of African descent globally. Botswana also summoned the US ambassador to Gaborone last week and expressed its displeasure over the reckless and racist remarks by the loquacious US president.