A spokesman for Zanu-PF, the ruling socialist party in Zimbabwe, reportedly dismissed the American presidential election as a “circus” on Monday and falsely accused President Donald Trump of saying all Africans were “assholes.”
Zanu-PF is the socialist party of late dictator Robert Mugabe, who ruled for 30 years before his former underling, Emmerson Mnangagwa, orchestrated a coup in 2017. Mugabe once identified Mnangagwa as a lead organizer of the Gukurahundi, the genocide of the Ndebele people under Mugabe in response to their opposition to his rule. Mugabe was, and Mnangagwa is, a member of the Shona ethnic group.
The Zimbabwean regime has maintained an antagonistic relationship with the United States for decades. American officials have sanctioned the regime for human rights abuses against its people, most recently in March. The spokesman condemning the American elections on Monday, Patrick Chinamasa, called U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols a “thug” and “Uncle Tom” in remarks in July, a response to Washington opposing the arrest of peaceful dissidents for organizing a protest.
On Monday, Chinamasa appeared to be celebrating Trump’s apparent loss in the November presidential election to challenger Joe Biden at a regular media briefing. Chinamasa complained that under Trump, America had become too vocal in supporting human rights and democracy.
“The U.S. administration of Donald Trump through its diplomat here in Zimbabwe has behaved as if it is the headmaster of democratic societies,” Chinamasa said, according to the local outlet 263 Chat, “who lied to his home country that our elections were not announced timeously causing the events of 1st August 2018 where hooligans unleashed unprovoked terror and violence in the city centre supposedly demanding the release of election results barely 24 hours after voting.”
The spokesman was referring to the presidential election of 2018 in which the government hastily announced Mnangagwa the winner. On the evening of elections, protests against the social regime erupted, triggering widespread and disproportionate state violence against dissidents.
“Unfortunately, Zimbabwe’s success in delivering an election day that was peaceful, and open to international observers, was subsequently marred by violence and a disproportionate use of deadly force against protestors by the security forces,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at the time. “We extend our condolences to the families and friends of those killed and injured and appeal to the leaders of all parties to urge their supporters to act peacefully.”
The State Department’s 2019 human rights report for Zimbabwe described the election as not “credible,” noting, “Political parties and civil society organizations complained of widespread voter disenfranchisement, including of foreign-born and diaspora voters, and the inability to compete on a level playing field.”
Following his complaints about a two-year-old election, Chinamasa then proceeded to mock the American elections.
“Results in the USA have by all standard turned into a circus from allegations of vote fraud to unbridled counts leading to a weeklong stalemate before election results will be announced despite there being a clear winner Mr. Joe Biden,” the spokesman said.
Chinamasa said Trump was “famed for calling all Africans as assholes,” without elaborating on this alleged fame on the president’s part. The Zanu-PF spokesman was perhaps referring to a rumor published by the Washington Post in 2018 that Trump had referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and unnamed African countries as “shithole countries.”
Trump denied the alleged remarks, saying, “The language used by me … was tough, but this was not the language used. … Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country.”
No reports have surfaced that Trump has ever referred to all Africans as “assholes.”
“Outgoing President Donald Trump, famed for calling all Africans as assholes, has refused flatly to recognise the election outcome vowing to remain President,” Chinamasa claimed. “This undemocratic agenda has found favour in his Secretary of State and chief diplomat Mike Pompeo, who has laughably vowed that there is going to be a transition to a second Trump administration.”
“The Trump administration has proved to be a threat to democracy and a global superpower and must be stopped,” Chinamasa concluded, demanding United Nations action against America.
Chinamasa used similar outrageous language against American Ambassador Nichols in July, using the fact that he is black to refer to him as an “Uncle Tom.”
“Concerning the machinations and antics of the U.S. Ambassador Brian Nichols and a coterie of gangsters and mercenaries who are disguised as diplomats, I want to warn them and remind them that it is high time they get to know that Zimbabwe is a sovereign republic and we are a full sovereign State,” Chinamasa declared. “Diplomats should not behave like thugs and Brian Nichols is a thug.”
“What has the United States has to offer in terms of values and human rights observance when his own African American people are treated like rats in full view of world media and he [Nichols] remains an Uncle Tom used to propagate values which, by themselves, they do not practice on their own people?” Chinamasa asked at the time.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Tibor Nagy responded to the outburst by describing Chinamasa’s remarks as “offensive” but “sadly not surprising.”
Mnangagwa regularly leaves these remarks to underlings. In March, for example, his Defense Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, celebrated the Chinese coronavirus outbreak in America as a punishment from God.
“This coronavirus that has come are sanctions against the countries that have imposed sanctions on us. God is punishing them now and they are staying indoors now while their economy is screaming like what they did to ours by imposing sanctions on us,” Muchinguri-Kashiri said. “Trump should know that he is not a God.”
Mnangagwa himself abstains from these remarks. He was one of the first heads of state around the world to wish Trump a speedy recovery following his coronavirus diagnosis in October.
While Biden’s Democrat Party has a friendlier relationship to socialists than the Republicans, Zanu-PF members have not expressed optimism in a Biden administration if the Democrat is inaugurated into office.
“We will be surprised to see Joe Biden acting different from his predecessor Donald Trump. If he does so, we praise God,” Zanu-PF secretary for war veterans, Douglas Mahiya, told New Zimbabwe after the election.
“Americans are Americans. They will remain white,” he said.