Zanu to demand UK reparations for ‘colonial crimes’

Zimbabwe’s long-standing dispute with the United Kingdom took a new twist this week amid revelations that Harare is actively considering filing for reparations for past injustices allegedly committed by the former colonial master.

A Zimbabwean man demonstrating in London in the 1970s against colonial rule.
A Zimbabwean man demonstrating in London in the 1970s against colonial rule.

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the United Nations in Geneva, Enos Mafemba, told the UN Human Rights Council that Harare would soon be approaching London for compensation for human rights abuses committed during the colonial period.

“Zimbabwe fought for its human rights, justice and dignity, and we will be coming to the British for reparations for past injustices,” Mafemba said.

Zimbabwe, embroiled in a bitter dispute with its former colonial master over President Robert Mugabe’s controversial land redistribution programme, wants the UK to pay for the resources it “looted during the era of colonialism”.

It also wants London to pay for crimes allegedly perpetrated by its citizens against black Zimbabweans during the colonial period.

Mafemba accused the UK of “bitterness” over Mugabe’s land reform programme under which more than 4 000 white farmers were dispossessed of their properties by Zanu (PF) thugs.

UK official Ian Duddy had earlier called for an end to politically-motivated violence in Zimbabwe and the restoration of internationally accepted human rights standards.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Irish and Swedish representatives who called for respect for human rights and the rule of law as well as an end to the systematic harassment of human rights defenders and restrictions placed on freedoms.

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