THE British government says it has invited President Emmerson Mnangagwa to King Charles III coronation to use his presence as an opportunity to address the severe political and human rights violations in the country.
This comes after the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe wrote to the British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, demanding that London withdraws Mnangagwa’s invitation to the May 6 royal event.
A part of the letter written by the group chaired by Navendu Mishra read: “To summarise, political violence and human rights abuses are widespread, with opposition members of parliament and party members harassed, beaten, imprisoned and murdered, corruption is rife… and all institutions of the state have been suborned to the ruling party”.
Responding to the letter, the minister for Development and Africa, member of parliament, Andrew Mitchell said: “President Mnangagwa was invited to the King’s Coronation through a process agreed between the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Royal Household.
“We regularly raise our concerns over human rights and the need for political reform in all official interactions with President Mnangagwa and his ministers. Our conversations in the margins of the coronation will allow us to do the same”.
The British government further urged Mnangagwa’s administration to uphold human rights ahead of the general elections set for July.
Mitchell added: “Ahead of general elections due later this year, the UK is supporting calls for all political parties in Zimbabwe to refrain from violence and intimidation, and to adopt measured language which will support peaceful campaigning.
“We are encouraging the Government of Zimbabwe to allow space for political opposition, media and civil society organizations to operate freely”.
Recently the UK government said it was closely monitoring the human rights situation in Zimbabwe following the conviction and sentencing of opposition politicians, Jacob Ngarivhume and Job Sikhala.
See the Govt response in full below;