The United Kingdom (UK) is lobbying South Africa and other regional countries to push President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime to end human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
This was said by the UK Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Tariq Mahmood Ahmad.
He was responding to questions in Parliament on Tuesday about what London was doing to solve the crisis in its former colony. Said Ahmad:
My Lords, the UK remains concerned about the political situation in Zimbabwe.
We regularly urge the Zimbabwean government to live up to their own constitution by ensuring that the opposition, civil society and journalists are allowed to operate without harassment and that due legal process is respected.
In this regard, we have engaged directly at the highest level with the South African government and we continue to engage with other regional partners, as well as regional associations, including the African Union, on this priority.
We are engaged very much with South Africa and yes, it wants to see a progressive, inclusive Zimbabwe as part of the region and the wider world.
Zimbabwe holds ambitions to join the Commonwealth as well. It is a collective effort.
I do not think that one country alone can influence the progression and inclusiveness of democracy.
It is, therefore, important that we, together with key partners, continue to play this role.
The House of Lords also debated Zimbabwe’s moves to enact legislation to bar citizens from holding discussions with foreign governments and to tighten controls over the operations of non-governmental organisations.
The international community accuses Mnangagwa of reneging on his promises to return Zimbabwe into a democracy after he was handed power by the military following a coup against long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017.