United Kingdom Member of Parliament for Vauxhall, Kate Hoey on Wednesday told Prime Minister Teresa May that the Constitution was not being adhered to in Zimbabwe ahead of the July 30 elections. She went on to ask the Prime Minister for reassurance that the UK government would not rush to endorse the election as free and fair. Here is the exchange,
The Prime Minister will know that later this month Zimbabwe will have its first election since Mugabe was ousted by a military coup. My hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth West (Conor Burns) and I have recently returned from Zimbabwe, and we heard from Zimbabweans concerns that that will not be a genuinely free and fair election. The constitution is not being adhered to, and the main Opposition do not have a chance to reach the state media. Will the Prime Minister give an assurance that our Government will not rush to agree that this is a free and fair election until we have seen that it really means change, not just for the election?
I commend the excellent work that the hon. Lady continues to do as chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Zimbabwe. We obviously welcome the announcement of the date of the election on 30 July, but we urge all parties involved to pursue free, fair and peaceful elections, because that is absolutely what the Zimbabwean people deserve. We will certainly watch very carefully to see how those elections are conducted, and consider the conduct of those elections as appropriate. We have repeatedly said that if the Zimbabwean Government can demonstrate commitment to political and economic reform the UK stands ready to do all that it can to support recovery, but that commitment is essential.