Verbal war between Zambia and Zimbabwe intensified

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Zambia has expressed disappointment at the continued attacks on President Levy Mwanawasa by Zimbabwean authorities and has warned that the unwarranted remarks would affect the cordial relations enjoyed by the two countries.

Chief government spokesperson Mike Mulongoti, who is also Information Minister, said in a press statement that Zambia was dismayed by the unjustified attacks attributed to Zimbabwe’s Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa by the local media in that country.

According to media reports in Zimbabwe, Chinamasa had expressed disappointment with President Mwanawasa, who is also chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), for his failure to ask Britain to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Mulongoti charged that the attacks were seemingly bent on discrediting the integrity of the impeccable office of President Mwanawasa among the international community, adding that these verbal attacks had immense potential to negatively affect the existing warm relations between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

He disclosed “The Zambian government wishes to express its consternation and deep concern at the unrestrained attacks on its head of State, Levy Mwanawasa. “These attacks on Zambia and its leadership have regrettably a great potential to unnecessarily strain the warm and cordial relations that existed between the two sister Republics since time immemorial.”

He pointed out that Zambia had stood on the side of Zimbabwe bilaterally and wit hin the framework of the SADC, the African Union and the rest of the international community.

Mulongoti said the SADC extraordinary summit in Dar es Salaam, capital of Tanzania, 29 March, 2007, had mandated South African President Thabo Mbeki to mediate in Zimbabwe’s political crisis and that “in no circumstances” did the summit task the then SADC chairman nor the subsequent chairs to undertake diplomatic efforts, as Zimbabwean authorities suggested.

Last month, President Mwanawsa called for the extraordinary summit in Lusaka with the aim to address the political crisis in Zimbabwe following the presidential and parliamentary elections. Panapress .

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