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Portia slaps Mugabe

Says comments disrespectful of J’can men

Friday, September 14, 2012    

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PRIME Minister Portia Simpson Miller says that recent derogatory statements made by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe about Jamaican men should be dismissed.

The prime minister's response came yesterday, nearly week after Mugabe labelled Jamaican men as drunkards and weed smokers during a distinguished university lecture at the Research and Intellectual Expo 2012 in Harare, the country's capital. He urged Zimbabweans not to be like the Jamaicans.

In a statement yesterday, Simpson Miller said "exhaustive checks" by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade confirmed that the controversial leader did make the "uncomplimentary remarks".

"The remarks, regardless of whether they were spoken 'in jest', as was stated in yesterday's edition (Wednesday, September 12) of the New Zimbabwe Newspaper, were grossly unfortunate, misguided and untrue," the prime minister said.

"We are confident that the remarks of President Mugabe do not represent the sentiments of the people of Zimbabwe, other African countries, and the rest of the world," Simpson Miller added. "Our confidence is predicated on the fact that there are many outstanding and globally accepted examples of the character and contribution of Jamaican men, who have set the benchmark as exceptional achievers."

She said the remarks should be "dismissed as untrue and disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of Jamaican men who are excellent fathers, professionals and outstanding citizens."

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