Defence minister Sidney Sekeramayi has said Zimbabwe faces military threats from the United States and the European Union.
Speaking while presenting a bill in parliament seeking to authorize the setting up of a military university Sekeramayi accused the Western powers of ‘political interference’ after they imposed targeted sanctions against dictator Robert Mugabe and senior regime figures implicated in gross human rights violations and unbridled corruption.
“Over the last decade, Zimbabwe has been threatened by the European Union and USA’s illegal economic sanctions and political interference that in turn have necessitated the establishment of an institution with the capacity to analyse national problems and develop a capable human capital base of experts, leaders and professionals as well as innovate and develop newer technologies that protect Zimbabwe, its people and interests,” said Sekeramayi.
The proposed university is an extension of the National Defence College, also known as the Robert Mugabe school of intelligence, established to train spies. The government has set up a major surveillance operation at the college in Mazowe after acquiring a $5 million super-computer with the help of the Chinese Red Army to monitor political dissidents, diplomats and business people.
Comment was not immediately available from the US and EU governments. However, Western diplomats have previously stated that the sanctions against Mugabe and his coterie, including a travel ban and an asset freeze, should not be seen as sanctions against the Zimbabwean people. The US and EU remain the southern African country’s largest aid donors, providing hundreds of millions of dollars annually for humanitarian programmes. Trade remains unaffected, except for an arms embargo.
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