Despite accusations by President Mugabe's party that Zimbabwe's former colonial master Britain was undermining the unity government in Harare, Ambassador Bronnert said that the UK believes it is for Zimbabweans to choose their own government and that the UK would work with any party or parties that form a government based on a genuine mandate from the Zimbabwean people, which includes Zanu (PF).
Mugabe has shot down a request by the Madam Ambassador for a British mission to observe the forthcoming crunch polls.
The UK has noted that although the economy was improving, Zimbabwe needed more time to work on political reforms, including repealing repressive legislation, opening up the media, introducing new electoral laws, and updating the voter register.
Ambassador Bronnert updated the Vice President on the development programmes the UK is undertaking in Zimbabwe and the growing trade relationship between the two countries. London was helping to revive essential services in health, education, water and sanitation, and had spent millions in these sectors since last year.
Ambassador Bronnert said: “The UK is a friend of Zimbabwe and will continue to support initiatives that raise the living standards of ordinary Zimbabweans. This is demonstrated by DFID’s support to the recently launched Child Protection Fund, to which $35 million has been committed over a period of four years. This support will reach over 300,000 children and 80,000 households countrywide.
"In 2011, the UK will channel $130 million towards projects in Zimbabwe which is the UK’s largest support to Zimbabwe ever. This support will reach millions of Zimbabweans particularly women and children.”
Ambassador Bronnert noted that trade between the UK and Zimbabwe has increased by 85% in the first half of 2011 against the comparative period last year. She said: “I’m delighted to see that trade is growing between Zimbabwe and Britain. This shows there is a healthy and strengthening working relationship between the two countries that benefits both our economies.”
The Ambassador also expressed her condolences to Vice President Mujuru, following the death of her husband, the late Retired General Solomon Mujuru who perished in a mysterious inferno at his farm in Beatrice. The VP has said she suspects foul play, and police say an inquest is still to return conclusive results.Post published in: News