UK Parliament debate over gold smuggler Henrietta Rushwaya seriously angers Mnangagwa’s government

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GOVERNMENT on Thursday said it was disappointed by the negative and uniformed debate which took place in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords this week after a British legislator misrepresented facts on Zimbabwe, while a UK minister indicated the country is planning to impose sanctions on Harare.

In the debate, Lord St John of Bletso attempted to besmirch President Emmerson Mnangagwa by insinuating the Head of State is closely related to suspended Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya, who was arrested this week on allegations of attempting to smuggle 6kg of gold to Dubai.

UK Minister for Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development, Baroness Sugg, responded to Lord St John’s contribution by suggesting the UK is considering specific sanctions against Zimbabwe.

In a statement, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said the attempt to link Rushwaya’s case to President Mnangagwa “is a new low”.

He added: “We note, as deeply unfortunate, the implied threat of more sanctions from the UK and the assurance given to the Lords that such measures are currently under active consideration in London.”

Dr Moyo said Zimbabwe is a sovereign state and attempts by Britain to “intensify pressure” on Zimbabwe by engaging with the African Union, the European Union, the Commonwealth, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and South Africa are unfortunate.

The Government of Zimbabwe, he added, is determined to forge a productive, mutually beneficial partnership with the UK.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kindness Paradza, took a swipe at Lord St John and Minister Sugg, saying their statements were offensive.

— Sunday Mail


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