Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Sibusiso Moyo has fumed over the debate held in the house of Lords in UK on Tuesday concerning the imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe saying he is “disappointed at the overally negative tone and tenor of the debate.”
This came following Zanu PF’s #sanctionsmustfall celebrations which happened last weekend.
In a statement, Minister SB Moyo said the involvement of President Mnangagwa as articulated in the debate to the case of Henrietta Rushwaya who is currently in custody for the alleged smuggling of gold was misplaced.
“The deliberate attempt to besmirch His Excellence the President, by way of innuendo with the corruption and smuggling case involving Henrietta Rushwaya is a new low, even for the noble Lords.” He said.
In the UK debate, Lord St John Of Blesto had made referral to Zimbabwe’s crises using the arrest of the ex ZIFA President Henrietta Rushwaya who was arrested at Robert International Airport on Monday.
“Is the Minister aware that President Mnangagwa’s niece was arrested in Harare yesterday for attempting to smuggle six kilograms of gold to Dubai? At a time when there have been no prosecutions for corruption, despite overwhelming evidence of gross corruption by ZANU PF government officials, what measures can Her Majesty’s Government and the European Union take to ensure the independence of the judiciary in Zimbabwe, and what measures can be taken to encourage the South African Government to use their political and economic leverage with Zimbabwe to help resolve the crisis?” He asked.
Minister SB Moyo however said the United Kingdom is ignorant of the efforts by the ruling party to eradicate corruption and human rights abuse.
“The Government representatives in the House echoed London’s now well- known refrain simply dismissing our progress on reform as “inadequate” and dredging- up the usual, invariably unsubstantiated allegations of human rights abuses and a failure to act on corruption.” Minister Moyo said.
Minister Moyo said the further tightening of sanctions by UK and their engaging of other unions to tighten sanctions on Zimbabwe is very unfortunate but however he made it clear that Zimbabwe is a sovereign state.
“We note as deeply unfortunate , the implied threat of more sanctions from the UK and the assurance given to the Lords that such measures are currently under active considerations…
“One would have thought that, by now, a lesson would have been learned. Zimbabwe is a sovereign state. We chart our own course based on our own national interest.” He said.
During the debate in UK, Baronness Sugg, UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office had said UK will continue to work with other unions, imposing sanctions until Zimbabwe reforms.
“My Lords, the UK is committed to working in partnership with the African Union as well as the Southern Africa Development Committee and other international organisations. We will continue that work, alongside the international community, to help support good governance, respect for human rights and genuine political and economic reform in Zimbabwe,
“My Lords, the UK remains aligned to the EU’s restrictive measures on Zimbabwe. Suspended targeted measures are in place against three current and former security sector chiefs, and Grace Mugabe. The Sanctions and Anti- Money Laundering Act 2018 now provides the legal basis for the UK to impose autonomous sanctions, and we are in the process of considering our approach to the future sanctions regime in Zimbabwe.” She said.
Minister SB Moyo further showed his concerns on the UK debate saying, “Genuine friends and partners do not prescribe or dictate: they advise and assist.”