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Deported Americans are dangerous spies – Charamba

By Staff Writer

THE government of Zimbabwe says the recently depoted four Americans had nothing to do with humanitarian work in Zimbabwe but just mere spies on a mission to destabilse the country.

Presidential spokesperson ,George Charamba this week told a state run weekly mouthpiece that contrary to claims that the deported quartet were doing humanitarian work in the country under the banner of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) , they were in fact conducting highly political engagement meetings.

The quartlet -Brenda Lee Pearson,Norma Kriger,Sarah Logan and Loretta Bass- work for US government affiliate ,Navanti Group, and their mission was ostensibly to carry out a democracy and governance assessment” to help USAID design its local programmes.

Charamba said after discovering that their team was being shadowed , the US Embassy , on behalf of Navanti Group ,reportedly notified the Government on February 5 ,requesting meetings between Pearson and Kriger and Government Ministers,institutions and Chapter 12 Commissions.

The Commissions included the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) ,the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC)the Zimbabwe Media Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).

Since arriving separately in early February , the team nicodemously held meetings with leaders of anti-government civic society organisations ,journalists some senior opposition figures and Western diplomats.
Overall , the team had 12 engagements .The government has since confirmed the quartet was on a covert political mission.

Charamba said : “There were what we call consular infractions .Basically that term refers to entry of foreign nationals in a country without due process as defined by that country.

“Under the Geneva Convention ,foreigners entering a country under the cover of an embassy must notify the host country prior to arrival.As it turned out the team arrived before any notification of Foreign Affairs of the government of Zimbabwe,” he said.

He said upon realising that their team was being shadowed ,the American Embassy sought retrospectively ,to fulfil this Consular requirement and then raised a note verbal or diplomatic note ,only on the 5th of February 2024.

Even then that particular diplomatic note only disclosed two persons of foreign origin.

“Unknown to them the government of Zimbabwe knew that in fact persons had entered surreptitiously into the territory of Zimbabwe were four, not two as declared.
“Incidentally the other two had been very active on the ground ,meeting interest groups , meeting leading opposition members ,NGOs and travelling around the country with the express purpose of gathering information of a political nature.

“The state will invoke its rough hands in order to enforce the laws of the land, but also get that foreign country to respect the sovereignty of that country.

“Let me make it very categorically clear that whilst this is a specific incident, the American government and its agencies are best advised that Zimbabwe is determined , capable and prepared to deport as many unlawful missions from any country,including the might America for as long as those countries are prepared to raise such unlawful missions which violate the integrity of Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe shall be brutally efficient and use the full might of the our law wherever our sovereignty is threatened That message must go out very very clearly to all countries including the Americans.

“The size of the country, the military might of that country, the diplomatic might of the country is absolutely inconsequential when it comes to the sovereignty of this country,” he said.

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