Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Claims He Refused to Sign Queen’s Book of Condolences


President Emmerson Mnangagwa has claimed he refused to go to the British Embassy in Harare to sign the book of condolence following the death of Queen Elizabeth 11 earlier this month.

According to The Herald newspaper, Mnangagwa made the comments while addressing Zanu PF supporters in the United States, where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly.

The Zimbabwean leader said he had cited sanctions that Britain and its western allies had imposed on Zimbabwe. The sanctions include travel bans against those affected.

According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, embassies and consulates are legally considered sovereign territories of the countries they represent.

“I said Zimbabwe can never walk to the UK or the embassy … I cannot violate UK territory; at the time we were in Angola,” Mnangagwa said.

Queen Elizabeth 11 died on September 8 at the age of 96 after reigning for 70 years, making her the UK’s longest-serving monarch.

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Mnangagwa told supporters in New York he initially refused to go to the British embassy in Harare to sign the book of condolences.

“When the Queen (Elizabeth II) recently died, I was invited to offer my condolences to the British Embassy in Harare. So my foreign minister (and international trade minister) (Ambassador Frederick Shava) went there and he told me that the Australian and Canadian ambassadors were waiting for me there,” he explained.

“I then sent a message to the Secretary of State to come back because I’m not going there.