11-08-19 by Spotlight Zimbabwe

UK turns up heat on Zimbabwe for political, economic reform

MEL FRYKBERG

JOHANNESBURG  – The UK is turning up the heat on Zimbabwe to take concrete steps towards political and economic reform and has sent a fact finding mission to the southern Africa country, according to local media reports on Thursday.

The director for Africa at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Harriet Mathews and Debbie Palmer, the director for West and southern Africa in the Department for International Development (DFID), together with British ambassador to Zimbabwe Melanie Robinson, told the media after meeting President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday that they would report on their fact finding mission to Prime Minister Boris Johnson upon returning to London.

“We are doing this on the political, economic and humanitarian front. The first issue of concern, I think, is a call for a real step towards change and for government to step up in terms of political and economic reforms,” said Mathews.

“The government also needs to step up and address issues to do with human rights abuses and corruption.”

While the pressure might chafe Harare, it is desperately trying to mend its relations with the West after years of sanctions over human rights abuses, which turned Zimbabwe into a political pariah, contributing significantly to its moribund economy.

Zimbabwe is also pushing for readmission into the Commonwealth and the UK has a huge say in the matter.

 

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  • The situation in Zimbabwe is serious and demands decisive action. The British government has played a very useful leading role is the past and one only hopes that this will continue.

    The EU’s decision to ease the sanctions imposed on the Zanu PF leaders regardless of the blatant vote rigging of last year’s elections was ill advised. One only hopes that this initiative by the British government will be followed with more robust action such as re-imposing sanctions on the regime’s leaders.

    Zanu PF blatantly rigged last year’s elections and no amount of reforms by the regime can ever reverse the political reality that the country is stuck with an illegitimate regime. Stepping up the punishment is what is called for now.

    The only hope of meaningful political reforms being implement is for the Zanu PF regime to step down. Zimbabwe cannot afford to have Zanu PF remain in power until 2023, the party will rig that year’s elections – guaranteed!

    The focus is on getting Zanu PF to step down a.s.a.p.!

    • True. And we need to understand that ZANU hold to power is driven by greed and a desire to cover up their crimes over the years, especially ED.

      What the international community should do to help Zimbabwe is to give us weapons to deal with the 1% corrupt ZANU PF. This is war.