Harare – Outgoing French ambassador to Zimbabwe, Laurent Delahousse, has denied claims that he was behind the recent unrest in the southern African country, a report said on Friday.
According to New Zimbabwe, the French ambassador, however, insisted that Zimbabweans had a right to protest.
Speaking from his home in the capital Harare, Delahousse blasted the ruling Zanu-PF government's accusations, saying that the ideology that informed them was outdated.
Delahousse said that although he supported the demonstrations, he rejected the recent accusations levelled against him by President Robert Mugabe's government that he was behind the protests.
"I make no excuse (for backing the protests) and I discard with disdain the ridiculous accusation against me reported earlier. They (allegations) belong to an outdated and irrelevant ideology that is not helping the country to adapt to the reality of the world today," Delahousse was quoted as saying.
The state-owned Herald newspaper reported recently that the Zimbabwean government believed that Delahousse, together with his American counterpart Harry Thomas, were behind the recent upheavals that had engulfed the country.
Presidential spokesperson - who also doubles as the permanent secretary for information, media and broadcasting services - George Charamba took a swipe at the two ambassadors, saying they ought to be advising their own governments before advising Zimbabwe.
The southern African country has in recent weeks been hit by a wave of protests, as Zimbabweans demanded that the government act on the ongoing economic hardships.
The country came to an abrupt standstill after Zimbabweans downed tools last week on Wednesday.
Many businesses, shops, and schools were closed, while public transport and some government departments and courts also ceased to function.
Following the successful stayaway, the organisers of the event called for a similar event on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
However, the response was muted after reports indicating that the government had threatened a crackdown on any protests in the country.
- News 24