By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Concern has been expressed in the British Parliament that Zimbabweans are suffering under President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his administration has not made any sufficient progress towards the economic and political reforms that his government themselves set out.
Speaking in the House of Lords for the United Kingdom, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Baroness Elizabeth Grace Sugg on Tuesday said Zimbabwe had not made sufficient progress in respect of political and economic reforms.
“My Lords, sadly we have not seen sufficient progress towards the economic and political reforms that the Government themselves set out.
“The onus must be on the Zimbabwean Government to deliver that progress. Our policy remains to support the people of Zimbabwe in moving towards a more democratic, stable and prosperous country.
Lord Jonathan Oates also noted the need for a sustainable policy approach to solve both the humanitarian and political problems in Zimbabwe.
“My Lords, do the Government recognise that, if we continue with our current policy, we will see the same results of injustice and repression continuing to be visited on the Zimbabwean people by their Government, a growing humanitarian crisis and the need for ever-increasing amounts of emergency aid to prevent starvation?
“So will the Minister consider convening a round table of experts to develop a more strategic political and economic approach, including looking at how a post-Covid Marshall plan for the region, accessible to countries that met specified governance and rule-of-law standards, could stimulate both economic recovery and democratic renewal in Zimbabwe and further afield?” Oates said.
Baroness Sugg responded saying she was ready to meet the minister to discuss a way forward for Zimbabwe.
“My Lords, as I said, we have not seen the progress that we want and, like the noble Lord, we want to see both economic recovery and democratic renewal. So I am very happy to meet with the noble Lord to discuss that idea and to help bring that about,” she added.
On Sunday, the Zanu PF government in collaboration with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) held a virtual march against targeted sanctions imposed by the Western governments.
But the UK government remained adamant that Mnangagwa had to institute reforms along with ending human rights abuses and corruption. Nehanda Radio