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Suspected State Security Agency Stalk U.S. Senate Aides In Harare

Suspected State Security Agency Stalk U.S. Senate Aides In Harare

Suspected Zimbabwe state security agents allegedly stalked and secretly filmed two visiting United States (U.S.) Senate aides who were having a meeting with a civil society activist at a Harare cafe.

The incident, according to US media, saw the Zimbabwean stalkers stage a dramatic high-speed chase with a US embassy vehicle which was carrying the visiting pair and the activist.

Reads the story by US news website, below:

On a late morning in mid-August, two U.S. Senate aides were sitting at an outdoor cafe in Harare, Zimbabwe, with a civil society activist, when someone approached them with a warning.

They were being tailed and filmed by another man in the cafe, whom the spotter suspected was a member of the Zimbabwean government’s security services.

The two aides work for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and were on an official visit to the southern African country organized in concert with the U.S. Embassy to meet with human rights advocates and other civil society leaders and hear first-hand accounts of Zimbabwe’s deteriorating political and human rights situation under President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

They requested meetings with the Zimbabwean government, most of which were declined.

After departing their meeting with the activist, they got into a U.S. Embassy vehicle, one of a fleet of clearly marked American government cars with diplomatic plates driven by an embassy staffer.

They were driving away when several cars slotted into the road in front of them, to the side, and behind them. Suddenly, their car was boxed in.

At one point, according to one official briefed on the matter, they tried to call the U.S. Embassy for help, but their phones all lost reception, apparently simultaneously.

They were on their own. After a tense standoff, as the phalanx of cars crawled along the road, the driver of the U.S. Embassy car saw an opening and swerved onto a side road to escape the tail.

They rushed back to the U.S. Embassy compound before the pursuing cars could intercept them.

From there, the U.S. Embassy worked to quickly ferry the two Senate staffers out of the country without further incident.

The ordeal, described to Foreign Policy by four current and former U.S. officials familiar with the matter, stunned U.S. diplomats and left them questioning what would have happened to the two Senate aides had the embassy vehicle not been able to make its escape.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to speak on the matter publicly.

The officials, who suspected Zimbabwean security services orchestrated the entire incident, said it underscored the increasingly brazen tactics of Mnangagwa’s government to suppress and intimidate political opponents and civil society activists as he strengthens his grip on power ahead of national elections next year.

However, all of the officials cautioned that they couldn’t say with certainty who followed the staffers and chased the U.S. Embassy car.

The incident incensed U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who sent a letter to President Joe Biden informing him of the harassment and car chase his staffers experienced.

In the letter, he urged Biden to step up U.S. attention on the “dire” repressive political atmosphere in Zimbabwe and boost support for the country’s increasingly embattled civil society organizations and pro-democracy activists.

“This blatant aggression towards congressional staff, one of whom—as the Zimbabweans surely know served as a senior advisor to you for many years when you were Chairman and Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee—was meant to intimidate the staff themselves, and to send a message to the United States: our support of Zimbabweans working to defend democracy is unwelcome by those who hold power,” Menendez wrote in his letter to Biden dated Sept. 12, a copy of which was obtained by Foreign Policy. Menendez did not name the two staffers in his letter.

“Such outrageous behavior highlights the Zimbabwean regime’s reckless disregard for international norms. If American officials are deliberately targeted, you can well imagine the violence that will be directed to Zimbabweans who dare to criticize the government.”

Menendez in his letter pushed Biden to bring up the political situation in Zimbabwe with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during their scheduled meeting at the White House on Friday. Menendez’s office did not offer additional comment on the matter.

The Zimbabwean government has often accused civic society organisations of getting funding from foreign governments to push the regime change agenda.

The alleged incident comes as Zimbabwe is working on the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Bill which the government says will curb money laundering and PVOs participation in politics. It proposes harsh penalties, including jail time of up to one year for perceived offences.

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rtgs 4 months ago

we need SEALS and DELTA FORCE intervention in this country President biden help

Klux kk 4 months ago

Mukatanga hondo ne America, munozoyigona here ma CeeeNumber?

Zelensky 4 months ago

Kkkk america inotirikita unoti tinomisidzana ne America ine CIA and Army iri well funded. Army wemuno yaipotsa ma target kuma army games akaitwa ku russia ndoingamisidzane ne America. Even in terms of intelligence hatiiswe Pa same scale ne CIA. Kutamba kwavaita kjda kuita box in and jaming cellphone signal yema americans uko ivo kana vakatoda kuita retaliate vanodzima zvese

Maparamuro 4 months ago

Saka toti let them do as they wish nekuti imonya 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣


Bring the CIA to Zimbabwe and let them work at the US embassy

King 4 months ago

And this time they have done it to the wrong people .
Vote CCC for a democracy oriented state

Maparamuro 4 months ago

No country tolerates this nonsense worse of all the USA. It's unfortunate they preach what they can't practise. Gvts deal with other gvts not gvt dealing with rebels of another gvt. Hakuna zvakadaro.
Zanupf is bad for Zimbabwe but it's the gvt of the day, like the USA it will not accept USA gvt dealing and supporting Zim rebels. In all honesty USA would have attacked militarily if Zimbabwe was seen dealing with AL qaeda.

Zid 4 months ago

who is a rebel in Zim Are human rights defenders againsti govment ????? They stand for the voice less

Maparamuro 4 months ago

They don't need USA to defend the rights of Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe. No gvt in the whole world will accept that another gvt works with organisation's that are fighting it never.

@Maparamuro 4 months ago

Who is fighting the government?

Maparamuro 4 months ago

USA is even threatening countries that are dealing with Russia with sanctions imagine what they will do to someone who deals with a direct enemy aahhh


Uncle Tosh 4 months ago

Ava dai vabatwa tikavaita machunks. This is Zimbabwe not USA.

Citizen raPep naChisa 4 months ago

Ukaona maspy enyu abatwa kuty arikutiteera pahomeground mobva maziya kuty ishiri

,,, dott 4 months ago

Americans dzikamai matanga fut

Mapinda nemwenje mudziva 4 months ago

apa mapisira apa, ana maparamuro USA munonyatdoiziva here when it comes to this game of spying and war? ungataure kuti hee we are a sovereign nation hatiitirwe izvozvo ..yes uri right hako maparamuro but wamazoitira izvozvo manje anokumamisai mukasara mangorembedza masvada. kip watching the space muone zvamurikuitwa ne CIA manje manje

Maparamuro 4 months ago

Havaitire ini vanoitira Zimbabwe kureva ini newe nezvese zviri munyika @mapinda nemwenje mudziva.
There is nothing new under the sun, Saddam akafa so did Gadaffi and Lumumba and Sankara and Samora and....... List goes on. Desire for independence does not end because some people have been killed. More fighters will come up.

Kwaimbove ne ZUM yaTekere fighting zanupf dictatorship kwakazouya MDC in many forms and sizes now we have CCC all following in the footsteps dzaTekere and others. Even the coward Nero is there in the fight against zanupf. Let them come topedzerana. CCC is not saying zanupf imonya saka ngatisiyei vaite zvavanoda, vamwe vari kufa asi panobuda vamwe vachitora nzvimbo dzavo.

They thought it was a walk in the park manje vakasangana nayo CIO vakamhanya🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Jokes aside, Hakuna zvako a gvt worth it's salt inobvumira matakanana akadaro

maparamuro na dot dzikamai 4 months ago

Ana Dot and Maparamuro futi ndimi type iya inofamba ichinyepera vanhu kuti makarwa Hondo ne Britain ka imi😎😎. muchizviti makawinner Hondo against Britain..... dai murivamwe makurumidza kudzikama bcz murikuzvindikitwa ne USA....zvamatanga izvi. ayas

Nero's Twin 4 months ago

Dear Twin Brother

Drama wanyanya. Takura bro. I told you kuti siyana netheatrics, maybe I'll take you seriously. Vanhu vari kuchema iwe busy nema African Movie. Usadaro Nero, we're adults now. This country doesn't need an actor, the Ukraine chap is still fresh in our minds. Ita saJulius wekuti akataura govt yake inoterera. Show us pure leadership brother. Leadership for Zimbabweans by Zimbabweans. Remember taka pasa form 4. Chiita vo sechikono chedu chobve zhira ye carpet! Show us that you have a plan to take us forward because power uchikure. Use the time to be more sensitive to the needs of your people. You're too sensitive to the needs of foreigners. Izvezvi black market yakati baya but iwe ziiii hako wangu Nero... Maybe you benefit from it but the ordinary DON'T!

Anyways that's that my brother. Mangwana kuChurch... I miss you. See you next time you visit me. Hazvineyi kuti I don't support your party, you'll always be my brother and I pray for you frequently. Pray for me too tipinde denga raMwari. You're loved always.

Ndini wako

Twinnie Boet

Maparamuro 4 months ago

Just commenting on this movie script, I don't believe the incident actually happened zvangu.
Embassy staff do not conduct themselves as described in this story especially from USA

PLO 4 months ago

I concur with@maparamuro

flames 4 months ago

Iye America inenge ichidei kumacivil activists,

ED Shweeee 4 months ago

Stupîd See-Ten operatives, I shall be reinstating Mudha after 2023 erections. Ndokuti muhwe kwazvo Americans

R.G Mugabe 4 months ago

@Maparamuro and @dott imbavhadze ZANU PF murikubira vanhu muchiona sekuti Nyika ndeyenyu vanaMugabe vaiti makuvaedu achatonga varipi same nezvinongoita mukuru wenyu uyu ngaafunge shona inoti ugaro mwena hunoguma

Mafirakureva Jeremiah 4 months ago

Iyi nhau ndeye vanemaziso anoona , vane nzeve dzinonzwa neavi vanenjere mupengo.
It is necessary to have an average understanding regarding:
espionage, subterfuge, counterintelligence and surveillance & how they influence political developments on the ground .
Recently Biden had a tete à tete with CR in the White House
Could whatever they discussed have anything to do with whats happening in Zimbabwe , viz
*impending elections
*political detentions
*democratic space
*human rights?
What is the US capable of , in terms of influencing Zimbabwe in terms of
diplomacy (EU, UN, SADC, AU)
finance (IMF, WORLD BANK)
What can Zimbabwe do in retaliation/response?
How much influence do Pendula subscibers' comments in bilateral policy and International Relations
Pardonme, I tend to daydream a lot...

Jacob Zvobwo 4 months ago

A high speed chase involving diplomats and secret govt agents? What has Zimbabwe become? This is very embarrassing to our image internationally

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