ED hints at plans to shutdown British Embassy for criticising his regime
President Emmerson Mnangagwa through his spokesman George Charamba has made a subtle threat to close the British Embassy in Harare over criticism of his regime saying “you cannot but wonder if their embassy here is of any use at all.”
This comes after Zac Goldsmith, the Commonwealth Minister of State for the United Kingdom, this week dismissed the possibility of Zimbabwe re-joining the Commonwealth of Nations on human rights grounds, ending the country’s hopes of competing at this year’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The House of Lords member told Britain’s second parliamentary chamber that Zimbabwe does not “meet the principles set out in the Commonwealth Charter”.
But Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba accused the British of sponsoring opposition and non-governmental organisations who are opposed to the passage of the Private and Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Bill, which commentators think infringes on people’s rights.
He further accused the British Embassy in Harare of misrepresenting the situation in Zimbabwe saying “when you go through the things they allege are happening in Zimbabwe, you cannot but wonder if their embassy here is of any use at all”.
“The PVO Bill, which they are fretting about, will be passed. It is a Zimbabwean law, meant to deal with a Zimbabwean situation and it will proceed that way,” Charamba told the state media.
“However, we also thank them, the British government and the House of Lords, for confirming that they continue to meddle in our own affairs. By their own admission, they have been brokering peace between antagonistic factions of the opposition.”
“The British Lords should not be in the habit of writing fiction about Zimbabwe in order to debate it. They have so much on their plate, there is their soaring inflation at home, there are certain oddities that are happening within their own Parliament, they have blowbacks relating to their exit of Europe, not to mention what is happening in Eastern Europe and of course their own domestic policy which get them to want to use foreign affairs as a red herring.”
Charamba added: “When you go through the things they allege are happening in Zimbabwe, you cannot but wonder if their embassy here is of any use at all. Nothing that they are raising or debating approximates the reality on the ground.
“Anyway, the point must be made and made instantly that in 1980, Zimbabwe got independence and has absolutely nothing to do with the British, (which is) made worse by the fact that the British, in their lack of wisdom, decided to slap Zimbabwe with sanctions it does not deserve.
“Can you imagine if the European Union was to invoke its own values and expectations in respect to Britain after Brexit?”
The Zanu-PF administration formally applied to rejoin the Commonwealth of Nations in 2018 and consultations are reportedly ongoing among the 54 member nations with Zimbabwe hoping to gain the support of Rwanda – the hosts of this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in June.