UK supports dictatorship: Vigil

The Vigil was asked what we thought of the criticism of the UK government for (as SW Radio Africa put it) ‘appearing to support Robert Mugabe’s regime through a multi-million pound gap year placement scheme’. This followed comments by Dr Peter Slowe, founder of the Projects Abroad organization, which sends British volunteers to help in developing countries during their gap between school and university.

Vigil supporters.
Vigil supporters.

The Vigil replied: ‘The Department for International Development, with its bloated budget, is now the tail wagging the Foreign Office dog. Pie in the sky thinking is making DFID a laughing stock. What Zimbabweans need is aid going to opponents of Mugabe to secure peaceful change envisaged by the Global Political Agreement, for instance by countering Zanu (PF) propaganda which capitalizes on aid projects like this.

The MDC’s Treasurer General, Roy Bennett, said in a speech in London last November ‘it is a false economy to pour billions into aid over an extended period when a fraction of those resources could be used to deliver change in a fraction of the time’.

He went on to say ‘the groups capable of confronting authoritarian regimes must be directly funded and resourced’. The Vigil supports this view.’

Many have become increasingly sceptical as the UK and the West in general pump billions of dollars of aid into Zimbabwe with no return: not only no political progress but no acknowledgement from the Mugabe mafia and no let up in their anti-Western hate speech. We fear this policy has in fact enabled the regime to unload responsibility for funding health, education and development needs to the despised West, freeing them to pursue their own enrichment.

Post published in: Africa News

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