British ambassador meets VP Chiwenga

HARARE – British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Melanie Robinson yesterday paid a courtesy call on Vice President Constantino Chiwenga where they discussed various issues, including reforms being implemented by the Government and the humanitarian situation in the country.

Ms Robinson, who was accompanied by the head of the Department for International Development Ms Cate Turton, said her country wanted Zimbabwe to succeed.

“We had a very good conversation. I had the opportunity to say to the Vice President that the UK above all, wants to see Zimbabwe succeed,” she said.

“We want to see a pathway towards a more prosperous democratic and peaceful future and for us that means pursuing the reforms with vigour, both political and economic reforms.”

The reform programme being implemented by the Government has seen various laws being passed in Parliament that include the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act, the Zimbabwe Development Agency Bill and the Companies and other Entities Act.

MOPA repealed the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) as part of measures to open up democratic space and regulate gatherings and demonstrations.

Ms Robinson said the British government had committed £54 million for humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe. “We also had a chance to talk about the humanitarian situation in the country and our concern is that there are people who are food insecure and there are people who are struggling with health and education.

“As the UK, we are providing £49 million for the food situation and a further £5 million for health, to prevent cholera outbreak,” Ms Robinson said.

“We talked about what we have been doing and we asked the VP to share information about what Government is doing and to provide information on what is available in the grain stores so that we can coordinate our efforts in the interest of Zimbabwean people.

“He (VP Chiwenga) said he is very concerned about the situation and in a practical way organised a meeting with us in the coming days to share that information and we will be doing that with the head of the DFID Cate Turton.” She reiterated the British’s desire for Zimbabwe to rejoin the Commonwealth.

“We discussed the Commonwealth and as I said from the beginning, the UK has been very clear. We would want to see Zimbabwe back in the Commonwealth.

“At the point, the economic and political reform programme of the Government has been completed and we have seen the progress, that will be the time to look at membership.” – Herald

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