FOUR United States nationals, contracted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), allegedly entered Zimbabwe clandestinely last month without following proper protocol. Brenda Lee Pearson, Norma Kriger, Sarah Logan, and Loretta Bass, all working for the US government affiliate Navanti Group, purportedly conducted unsanctioned meetings aimed at influencing Washington’s foreign policy towards Zimbabwe.

Their mission was initially presented as a “democracy and governance assessment” to aid USAID in designing local programs. However, it was later revealed that their true agenda centered on effecting regime change in Zimbabwe.

The quartet entered the country without notifying the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, violating diplomatic conventions. Upon discovering their activities, the Zimbabwean government deported them on February 17.

The US Embassy, representing Navanti Group, allegedly informed the Zimbabwean government on February 5 about Pearson and Kriger’s presence, requesting meetings with government officials and commissions. However, Logan and Bass arrived secretly on the same day.

The team conducted covert meetings with anti-government civic leaders, journalists, opposition figures, and Western diplomats. They met with various individuals and organizations across the country, discussing political matters and gathering information.

The Zimbabwean government confirmed the quartet’s political mission and denounced their activities as interference in the country’s internal affairs. Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Mr. George Charamba, criticized the US nationals for violating Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and diplomatic protocols.

Charamba emphasized that Zimbabwe would not tolerate foreign interference and would enforce its laws to protect national sovereignty. He asserted that Zimbabweans alone should determine their political future without external influence.

The US Department of State, through spokesperson Matthew Miller, reacted strongly to the deportation, alleging mistreatment of the assessment team. However, diplomatic sources suggested a divergence in views between the US State Department and the White House regarding Zimbabwe.

state media