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UK to suspend aid to Zimbabwe?

by Staff reporter
22 Jan 2019 at 16:07hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa's re-engagement efforts will suffer a huge blow as calls for the United Kingdom (UK) government to withdraw its foreign aid and support to Zimbabwe's mount.

This comes as UK has been aiding Zimbabwe for years now with 3 000 bicycles being donated last week to girls who walk between five to 15km to school every day.

UK Time party leader Robert Kimbell has urged the British government to suspend its foreign aid to Zimbabwe until self-governance is restored, following violent protests that took place in the country last week.

"End all bilateral UK foreign aid to Zimbabwe with immediate effect. Prohibit entry by any minister or agent of the Zimbabwean government. Withdraw UK support for the re-entry of Zimbabwe to the Commonwealth. Promise to re-instate all when the democracy resumes," he said.

He condemned the Zimbabwean government's response to the demonstrations suggesting that the UK government should compel Mnangagwa's administration to stop persecuting its people who are now afraid to get out of their homes.

"We must pressurise the government of Zimbabwe to stop harassing, imprisoning, injuring and even, allegedly, killing Zimbabweans. The situation in the southern African country is dire. People are frightened to venture out of their homes. That is a shutdown," the opposition leader said.

This also comes after the British foreign secretary Harriett Baldwin summoned Zimbabwe's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Christian Katsande, to discuss concerns over reports of violence, killings of demonstrators, Internet blackout and a security crackdown in the country last week.

In a statement on Zimbabwe recently, Baldwin said reports were received on the widespread unrest and a heavy security force response in Zimbabwe with several people being killed and many others injured. The British foreign secretary slammed government's response to the violent protests suggesting that it was a violation of human rights.

"While we condemn the violent behaviour of some protesters, and unlawful acts such as arson and looting, we are deeply concerned that Zimbabwe's security forces have acted disproportionately in response.  In particular, there are disturbing reports of use of live ammunition, intimidation and excessive force," the statement read.

She called on the Zanu-PF led government to investigate human rights violations and restore full Internet access, consistent with citizens' constitutional right to freedom of expression.

"We call on the government of Zimbabwe to ensure its security forces act professionally, proportionately and at all times with respect for human life and constitutional rights. We further call on the government of Zimbabwe to investigate all allegations of human rights abuses," the statement read.

Source - dailynews

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