Former Vice President Guy Scott has escaped the diplomatic wrath of Zimbabwe over his negative statement against President Robert Mugabe because he is not part of the Zambian Cabinet
Dr Scott was quoted at the weekend as saying Mr Mugabe was still President of Zimbabwe despite losing an election eight years ago.
Zimbabwe high commissioner to Zambia Gertrude Takawira said her office was not bothered by Dr Scott’s remarks because he was not part of the Zambian government.
“We are not bothered about the comments attributed to Zambia’s former vice president on Zimbabwe because he is not part of the Zambian government but our standpoint is that with the Government,” Ms Takawira said.
She said in an interview yesterday said that the Zimbabwean mission in Zambia learnt of Dr Scott’s disparaging remarks against President Mugabe from news reports and when Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba dissociated Government from the former vice president’s remarks.
Ms Takawira said Zimbabwe would not comment on every individual Zambian’s comment as they have a democratic right to express themselves.
She however said Zimbabwe was pleased that the Zambian government quickly dissociated itself from the statement attributed to Dr Scott.
“As Zimbabwe, we learnt about the issue through the media but we go by what Minister Kalaba who dissociated Zambia from Dr Scott’s statements. We cannot comment on every individual Zambian’s opinion but what we standby is what the Government issued through the minister,” Ms Takawira said.
Dr Scott was last week quoted disparaging Zimbabwe.
“We don’t want this country to be like Zimbabwe. Why should we voluntarily become like Zimbabwe, where the President can lose an election and eight years later, he is still there,” he said.
But Mr Kalaba castigated Dr Scott and dissociated the Government from the sentiments he described as being in bad taste.
He advised Dr Scott to respect Zimbabwe as a sovereign state, which has managed its affairs since independence.
Mr Kalaba said he did not want Zambia to be misunderstood by its eight neighbouring countries with whom the country still enjoyed warm and cordial relations.