In a rare unguarded moment, a former top United States Department of State official last week indicated that Washington planned to employ “aggressive diplomacy” towards Zimbabwe and also tie food aid to regime change in a bid to unseat the Zanu-PF Government following the 2008 elections.
In a revealing thread on micro-blogging site Twitter on Friday, Mrs Nicole Wilett-Jensen — a former employee of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations — indicated that the Barack Obama administration also weaponised food aid, especially at a time when the economy was struggling, to try and effect regime change.
Zimbabwe has been under US sanctions for the past two decades.
“Zim is an interesting comparison, but I’m stuck on the idea, as I have been throughout this, of the US bestowing recognition on an opposition leader in an African country after a flawed election, and building an international coalition behind him/her, as has been done with Venezuela. GOZ (Government of Zimbabwe) did indeed delay results for (a) harrowing month while immediately unleashing systemic, national campaign of violence on opposition, CSOs and lay citizens (200 dead, 20 000 displaced (between April-June), so much so that MDC boycotted run-off…” she claimed.
Mrs Willet-Jensen, however, conceded that private tallies from the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) “had Morgan (Tsvangirai) shy of winning round one (49-41 percent)” of the 2008 elections.
She added: “Meanwhile, rare donor and NGO alignment and aggressive diplomacy ( through Ambassador Jim McGee) worked China/UN/SADC/AU hard: see SADC-PF election statement and then-SADC chair Levy Mwanawasa’s unprecedented “sinking Titanic” Mugabe critique interrupted only by his stroke during the AU Summit…
“Facing bad options and limited leverage as Levy-less SADC backed down, small part of US government did have brief and agonising debate during state of emergency on impossibly fraught step to halt and tie food aid to regime change amid economic collapse.
“But with IDPs (international development partners) literally at the embassy gate, we returned to status quo in end. As did Zimbabwe.”
Government sources who spoke to The Sunday Mail last night said authorities are aware of efforts by the US to push the Zanu-PF Government out of power through an illegal regime-change agenda.