LONDON – British House of Lords peer Lord Palmer asked the United Kingdom’s Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon if he has considered re-colonising Zimbabwe as an option to end the economic and political crisis.
Lord Palmer said this Tuesday when the British House of Lords was discussing the government’s response on reports of serious violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe. He was responding to Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon’s responses on the steps the British government had taken in response to Zimbawe’s situation.
Lord Ahmad said the British government condemned the violent behaviour by some protesters and was concerned on Zimbabwe’s security forces disproportionate response. He also said they were working with international partners. Said Lord Ahmad:
My Lords, I assure my noble friend that we are working very closely with international partners—he mentioned SADC and the African Union—and in particular with South Africa, to urge the Government in Zimbabwe to stop their disproportionate use of force and reinstate the internet, which I understand has been reinstated in part today.
In terms of further work in this respect, my honourable friend the Minister for Africa will also attend the EU-AU ministerial in Brussels today and tomorrow afternoon, which will discuss Zimbabwe in particular. On the issue of the Commonwealth, as Minister for the Commonwealth, I say that we all subscribe to the values of the Commonwealth—of ensuring pluralist democracy and the upholding of human rights.
Many saw during the Commonwealth summit the Government’s commitment to encourage among other partners the new Zimbabwe to come forward for membership. Clearly, the events that have unfolded recently put that into question—but of course, it is a matter not for the UK but for the Commonwealth as a whole.
When asked if he had considered recolonising Zimbabwe, Lord Ahmad said that is not an option he has considered.
More: House of Lords Hansard