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Zimbabwean Activist Calls for Russian Support to Counter Western 'Imperialist' Influence in Region

© SputnikZimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa at SPIEF 2024
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa at SPIEF 2024 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 08.06.2024
On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin held talks with his Zimbabwean counterpart, Emmerson Mnangagwa, on the sidelines of the 2024 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). Later, Mnangagwa took part in the SPIEF plenary session, where he declared that, together with Russia, Zimbabwe is charting a path to a shared prosperous future.
Zimbabwe needs Russia to help counter the "imperialist" influence from Western powers in the region, Zharare Martin, Executive Director of Citizens Against Economic Sanctions, told Sputnik Africa in an interview.
He also cited President Emmerson Mnangagwa's recent statement during his visit to Russia for the 2024 SPIEF about the need for Moscow's support.

"Zimbabwe has been under imperialism from time immemorial… It is our land; it is my land. We took it from the white men. Then they sanctioned us. That is when we created big trouble for ourselves when we kicked them out of our land," Martin stated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa attend a meeting on the sidelines of the 27th Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) at the Constantine Palace in Strelna in the suburb of St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday, June 6, 2024. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 08.06.2024
SPIEF 2024
'For Zimbabwe to Succeed, We Need Russia': Sanctions Fighter Calls for Increased Cooperation
"They succeeded in Zambia… But as Zimbabweans, we will stand up. We've been standing up to defend our country," he said.
Martin drew a parallel between the situation in Zimbabwe and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, arguing that both situations involve a fight against Western encroachment.

"It is the same thing that they wanted to do in Ukraine when they wanted to bring NATO right to the doorstep of Russia, and Putin said, No, that will never happen. This is exactly the same challenge we are having in Zimbabwe," he explained.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on June 6, 2024. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 07.06.2024
SPIEF 2024
Together With Russia, We Are Charting Path to Shared Prosperity, Says Zimbabwean President
Martin appealed to Russia for assistance, urging them to provide military support to Zimbabwe. "But we are saying to the Russians: You are our friend; come to our help… We need to be defended. We need that partnership- the military partnership- as it is happening in West Africa. This is exactly what we want. Because without that, we are going back again to being ruled by white men, and as Zimbabweans, we are saying we will defend our country."
The anti-sanction fighter further criticized the hypocrisy of Western powers, pointing to their involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as evidence of their double standards on human rights.

"The Americans say they are the champions and defenders of human rights," he said. "But today they are decimating the people of Palestine. They are killing the children, the women, the pregnant and the crippled, the people of Palestine in refugee camps, and defenseless people. And these people, the Israelis, are using American weaponry."

He concluded by expressing solidarity with Russian forces fighting in Ukraine, stating, "Your victory is a victory for us and a victory for the world."