Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has criticised Western countries for advancing a regime change agenda through funding opposition aligned non-governmental organisations.
She said this on Thursday while presenting a paper on the challenges faced by the National Security Council in national defence planning and development to the students of the National Defence Course at the Zimbabwe National Defence University.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the West had been unrelenting in its attempts to overthrow the Zanu PF-led Government.
“The West has done this through sinister activities that include funding of opposition political parties and non-governmental organisations pursuing opposition agendas, the unilateral imposition of illegal economic sanctions on Zimbabwe and attempts to influence the outcome of elections in the country, among others.
“Regime change machinations continue to be witnessed up to his day with events from the opposition front testifying to their connivance with the West, particularly those that imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe,” she said.
The regime change agenda, said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri, almost climaxed in 2007 when West countries attempted to legalise their illegal economic sanctions by bringing Zimbabwe’s case as an agenda item to the United Nations Security Council.
In 2003, the West’s intrusive manoeuvres saw the Zimbabwe taking the bold decision of withdrawal from the Commonwealth to safeguard her sovereignty and territorial integrity after persistent attacks on the Government by Britain and the white Commonwealth countries.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri added that in 2019 and last year, recorded an increase in cases of alleged abductions of opposition figures that were always blamed on State agents, despite such abductions always coinciding with world events or high level visits to Zimbabwe, which made them suspicious.
“Efforts to investigate these (alleged abductions) have proved futile as the evidence either is tempered with or the concerned individuals refuse to cooperate with the investigating officers. Of late, the opposition, with the aid of their Western backers, have been planning demonstrations as a way of furthering their regime change agenda.
“Therefore, the security forces have an obligation to remain vigilant and nip such security vices in the bud,” she said.
The imposition of illegal sanctions on the country was also part of the broad agenda to cripple the economy and suffocate the Government’s revenue streams in a bid to eventually cause disaffection in citizens, leading to mayhem and regime change.
The minister said the sanctions led to high unemployment rates and shortages of basic commodities on the market.
“Such negativities also culminated in increasing opposition forces against the Government, which however successfully withstood the pressure.
“Although the move by foreign companies to relocate their businesses to neighbouring countries negatively impacted on the Government’s ability to govern effectively, it also had a positive effect of enlightening the Government on the need to have a locally controlled economy as opposed to a foreign controlled one,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.
The West also used the media aggressively to demonise and tarnish the Government’s image through negative publicity through the use of global media houses such as BBC and CNN.
Recently, some regional broadcasters were enlisted to attack Zimbabwe on allegations of human rights abuses but when worse things happen in their countries, the media houses remain mum.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Government responded by taking every opportunity at public gatherings and international conferences to correct the misinformation and lies peddled by the Western media.
Efforts were also made to have Zimbabwe expelled from the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) following discovery of diamonds in Manicaland, amid lies that the diamonds were a product of human rights abuses.