Germany angered over attack on ambassador
By Alex Bell
03 March 2011
Germany has protested to the Zimbabwe Foreign Affairs Ministry this week after its ambassador, Albrecht Conze, was attacked by a suspected ZANU PF mob in Harare on Tuesday.
A mob attacked the ambassador’s official vehicle while he was travelling from the German Embassy on Tuesday night. Conze and his driver escaped unhurt.
“On its way from the Embassy to the residence, at around 7.15 p.m. on 1st March, the German ambassador's official car, a Mercedes-Benz limousine, was attacked and severely damaged by unknown aggressors,” the embassy statement said.
“The ambassador’s driver had been forced to stop at the Churchill Road/College Road junction as another vehicle, coming out of College Road, had the right of way. As the vehicle stopped, the rear right window was twice hit from outside with a heavy (probably metallic) device. However, the badly damaged window resisted, and the aggressor - not visible from the inside of the vehicle - refrained from hitting a third time - something he could have done to finally smash the window. The driver then managed to speed off from the scene. Neither he nor the ambassador were injured,” the statement continued.
The German embassy said the incident was reported to Avondale Police Station and the ministry of Foreign Affairs. The police are reportedly launching a full investigation.
Commentators believe the attack is linked to Conze’s recent comments about empowerment in Zimbabwe, which are said to have angered top ZANU PF officials. The attack followed the publication of Conze’s article: “Best practices for Empowerment - a German view.” He wrote that ZANU PF needs to rethink its ‘empowerment’ policies, or risk further international isolation.
The ambassador said: “The recent rattling of sabres against the ghost of ‘white supremacy’ does carry the risk of isolating the country once again from Africa’s dynamic mainstream. The rhetoric used by certain ministers in this respect are not only ill-founded, irritating and unconstitutional, but totally out of tune with the rest of the continent, where race issues have long been set aside, with no more impact on policy decisions,” said the ambassador.
In response, ZANU PF’s George Charamba, writing as columnist Nathaniel Manheru, wrote in the state run Herald:
”Zimbabwe is no land for the archetypal supple African of colonial lore. We are a very proud, self-believing people, and that he must be told in stark language, that man. That is the language Germans understand. They are not well known for any aristocratic graces, whether by deed or by tongue. You talk to them on their rough terms, and they understand you, respect you even,” Manheru, aka Charamba, wrote.
Deutscher Botschafter im Zimbabwe angegriffen
und die deutsche Presse schweigt?! Zumindest habe ich heute morgen um 9:40 in Google-News keinen deutsch-sprachigen Artikel zu dem Thema gefunden. Faulheit? Desinteresse? Scheuklappen? Feigheit? Ein kurzer Blick auf die Seite www.zimbabwesituation.com zeigt, dass Zimbabwe mit seinem Diktator Mugabe sich in eine Reihe mit Libyen ("Gaddafi bombardiert sein eigenes Volk"), Iran ("Oppositioneller unter Hausarrest") und inzwischen auch China ("China drangsaliert Journalisten") einfügt. Nicht umsonst gab es auch das Gerücht, Gaddafi würde nach Zimbabwe ins Exil gehen. Dass die deutsche Presse auf Wunsch der Bundesregierung schweigt mag ich nicht glauben: