Thursday, June 20, 2024

Zimbabwe Reaches Out to Russia Amid US-Zambia Ties

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Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s outreach to Russia and accusations that the United States is consolidating its military strength in Zambia highlight a growing rift between the neighbouring nations.

Diplomatic relations between Zimbabwe and Zambia, historically marked by mutual support, have deteriorated under the leadership of Mnangagwa and president Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia.

During a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Mnangagwa sought assistance for “defence and food security,” expressing concerns about US influence in Zambia.Mnangagwa claimed the United States is “consolidating its power” in Zambia through increased security and financial aid, which he suggested aims to isolate Zimbabwe.

“The United States is making us feel lonely,” Mnangagwa remarked, indicating a perceived encirclement by Western powers.

Since Hichilema assumed office, the US has strengthened its ties with Zambia, offering increased financial aid and security cooperation.The establishment of a US military base in Zambia has particularly signalled a shift in regional alliances. This closer relationship contrasts sharply with the more contentious US-Zimbabwe relations, strained by ongoing sanctions and criticism of Zimbabwe’s human rights record.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has also played a significant role in the unfolding drama.

Former Zambian vice president Nevers Mumba, leading the SADC electoral observation mission to Zimbabwe, issued a critical report on Zimbabwe’s recent elections.

The report highlighted irregularities and questioned the legitimacy of Mnangagwa’s victory, adding to the diplomatic tension.

Mnangagwa’s government dismissed the report as biased and accused Mumba of exceeding his mandate.

This disagreement has further strained relations, with Zimbabwe perceiving SADC, and by extension Zambia, as influenced by Western powers.

Zimbabwe’s political landscape remains volatile, with Mnangagwa’s administration facing allegations of corruption, human rights abuses and election rigging.

The SADC report, combined with increasing pressure from Western nations, has sparked fears of an orchestrated regime change.

Mnangagwa’s government views the US’ growing influence in Zambia and SADC’s critical stance as part of a broader strategy to undermine his rule.

Mnangagwa’s support for former Zambian president Edgar Lungu, succeeded by Hichilema, has also been contentious.

Lungu, whose presidency was marred by accusations of authoritarianism and economic mismanagement, was a close ally of Mnangagwa.

The transition to Hichilema, a reformist leader with strong international support, marked a significant shift in Zambia’s domestic and foreign policies.

Hichilema’s administration has distanced itself from Lungu’s legacy and is focusing on anti-corruption measures and economic reforms.

Mnangagwa perceives these policies as a threat to the regional status quo and his political survival.

Mnangagwa’s appeal to Putin for support in defence and food security underscores Zimbabwe’s precarious situation. The country faces numerous challenges, including economic instability, food shortages and an underfunded military.

Russia’s assistance is seen as crucial to bolstering Zimbabwe’s resilience against perceived external threats.

The request for defence support highlights Zimbabwe’s isolation within the region. With Zambia receiving increased security support from the US, Zimbabwe fears vulnerability. The appeal to Russia is an attempt to counterbalance US influence and secure a reliable ally amid growing regional tensions.

Under the leadership of Mnangagwa and Hichilema, diplomatic relations between Zimbabwe and Zambia have become increasingly strained.

Mnangagwa’s appeal to Russia, accusations against the US and support for former president Edgar Lungu reflect a broader geopolitical struggle in southern Africa.

As the US consolidates its influence in Zambia, Zimbabwe finds itself increasingly isolated, turning to Russia for support.

The future of Zimbabwe-Zambia relations will depend on the evolving dynamics of international alliances, regional politics and internal developments within both countries.

Source: The Zimbabwe Mail

29 COMMENTS

    • Very childish behaviour. Also full of Master-servant habits.. Those of us who grew up on the copperbelt will remember the childish behaviour of Ukobola or Ukukobwela. if you are beaten by a peer you look for an older guy to come and fix your age-mate conqueror.
      You pay the older guy either some left overs from your home meal or the coins you had been saving. Mnangagwa thinks Moscow can after Ukraine, bomb Zambia for him. If you check our army its full of Russian trained personnel and missiles showing just what good relations we have with Moscow. You expect this big guy to come and spank us?

    • Let’s just fight, Zambia have Americans and South Africa on our side.
      Are you scared of Zimbabwe? You Zambians are cowards.

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  1. When Nevers Mumba called out the fraudulent elections in Zimbabwe, he did not go to Washington or Moscow to make such announcements. Munangagwa despite being born, educated and groomed in Zambia decides to sell us to Russia. Life is a bitch.

  2. Zambia /Zimbabwe should take a note from Kenya whose president recently said “Kenya is facing neither east nor west, we’re facing forward”
    But its also wise advice to be cognizant of Kenya’s apparent hypocrisy since it was formally admitted as Major Non NATO Ally by the USA’s president (and the only such nation in sub saharan Africa)

    • Continued
      We won’t let hstory repeat itself. Who killed Levy Mwanawasa? Our memories are still fresh about the loss of Mwanawasa, as chairman of the SADC. He was among the first regional leaders to openly criticise Robert Mugabe’s policies that have lead Zimbabwe to where it is today – total shell of itself.
      Watch “MNANGAGWA FALLING & EXPOSED | ZAMBIA VS ZIMBABWE | THE TRUTH EXPOSED” on YouTube

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    • Zimbabweans deserve better, and as Zambians we feel our sacrifices for it’s independence can’t be in vein. Why should Zimbabweans be worse off, under the leadership of their own brothers and sisters. How can you have over 6 million citizens out 17 million living in the diaspora due to unfavourable conditions back home. At the rate things are going, we recommend that govt considers boycotting the August SADC summit in Harare. Efforts should be made to review diplomatic ties. Any political part that is being fund by Zanu PF to destabilise the nation should be dealt with. We are a bacon of peace in the region by “design.”

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  3. Zimbabweans deserve better, and as Zambians we feel our sacrifices for it’s independence can’t be in vein. Why should Zimbabweans be worse off, under the leadership of their own brothers and sisters. How can you have over 6 million citizens out 17 million living in the diaspora due to unfavourable conditions back home. At the rate things are going, we recommend that govt considers boycotting the August SADC summit in Harare. Efforts should be made to review diplomatic ties. Any political part that is being fund by Zanu PF to destabilise the nation should be dealt with. We are a bacon of peace in the region by “design.”

  4. This Mwanawangaagwa is childish. Was he not brought up in Zambia? Kusinduka uko ka. Selfish and childish man. Mugabe had the same paranoia on Levy and this crocodile danced when levy passed on. I think he will not sit comfortably in Salisbury and that we must tell you is the truth.

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  5. The establishment of AFRICOM in Zambia has unsettled several African countries. Now it’s either you’re aligned to the West or East. Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Angola, DRC and Mozambique are seen as having puppet presidents sponsored by the Oppenheimer and therefore Western aligned

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    • Yes we know that fact, but that does not give anyone the right to insult all the innocent people within that country. When Zimbabwe was doing the same, siding with the British in the 80’s, Zambia still protected the people of Zimbabwe including the same ungrateful Mnangagwa. Presidents come and go so if he has an issue with our president, then he should call out his name not an entire country as if we all agree with what our president is doing. I am sure the Russian president must have said to him, “your enemies, are not necessarily our enemies too” Russia provides military support to Zambia. Have you ever seen Zambia police with M16’s? each one of them carry an AK47. This is childish behaviour from Emerson.

    • I have always said that Mnangagwa and Membe do not have the personal intellignce nor the stamina to break the econonic strangle of the collective West.Now he is going to Putin to beg for cheap food and guns and the Chinese are right there in his country.Putin’s interests in Southern Africa are based in the Central African Republic.He also is unaware that AfriCom is already in Zimbabwe

  6. In 1986, Kaunda, in his capacity as Chairman of the Frontline States told the English Queen that if she did not pressurise Margaret Thatcher to impose sanctions on South Africa, the frontline states would withdraw from the Commonwealth. Robert Mugabe immediately contradicted Kaunda, stating that “we can bring about more change from the inside than we can from the outside”. By doing this, Mugabe saved the commonwealth because a Frontline States withdrawal would have been followed by Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, India, Pakistan and the Caribbeans. For this Mugabe was rewarded with aid as long as Thatcher was in power, and Zambia was deprived of it. These Zimbabweans have no credibility.

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  7. When Zambia and Botswana decided to build the Kazungula Bridge, Zimbabwe decided to sabotage the project. Zimbabwe tried to claim that Zambia and Botswana do not have a common border, and that the bridge would pass over Zimbabwe territory, and Zimbabwe was denying that. Zimbabwe went to the United Nations to request a ruling affirming that Zambia has no border with Botswana. Because border disputes can take generations to resolve, Zambia and Botswana sought permission to pass the bridge of Namibia, at an addition cost of US $10 million. This is why the bridge has a westward curve. The reason why Zimbabwe did this because the Zambian traffic through Kazungula accounts for 70% of the road taxes collected by that country

  8. Typical African mentality and am very disappointed with both HH and Munangangwa…..instead of working together as neighbors like Mugabe and RB….Mugabe and Mwanawasa…Mugabe and Chiluba…Mugabe and Lungu….Mugabe and Sata….but Munangangwa and HH both choose to run to West and East to seek sympathy and help bring our economies down…..no wonder things are getting worse in Zambia and Zimbabwe….Will Russia start giving Zimbabwe free Electricity….Will USA start giving Zambia free Electricity….????…UPND will end up as the worst Political party in Zambia

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  9. Putin is visibly bored as he has primary school lessons in Rhodesian history as if he needs it to be explained that it was one country before. Good to question US presence however as we don’t need alignment

  10. He wanted to deceive the Russians so that they feel the urgency of helping him. He should have just gone there with a begging bowl and not bring Zambia in his business. In reality Zambians and Zimbabweans are family and can never go to war against one another. He was trying to scam Putin but I am sure Putin who has a good spy network knows the truth. Both the Crocodile and Uncle Bob lived in Zambia at one time.

  11. I have always said that Mnangagwa and Membe do not have the personal intellignce nor the stamina to break the econonic stranglehold of the collective West.Now he is going to Putin to beg for cheap food and guns and the Chinese are right there in his country.Putin’s interests in Southern Africa are based in the Central African Republic.He also is unaware that AfriCom is already in Zimbabwe.HH on the other hand, is pressing on with economic diplomacy and Neo-Pan Africanism

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  12. MNANGAGWA BEING PLAYED LIKE A PUPPET BY RUSSIA !! THEY COULD NOT CARE ABOUT ONE SINGLE ZIMBABWEAN/AFRICAN STARVING ALL THEY WANT IS MINERALS THAT CAN FURTHER ADVANCE THEIR NUCLEAR POWER ! WE WOULD NOT WANT TO BEFRIEND THE DEVIL HIMSELF 1

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