UK House of Lords Questions Zimbabwe’s Reform Progress Suggest More Sanctions

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The United Kingdom House of Lords has raised an alarm over continued corrupt activities in Zimbabwe by government top officials and the increasing number of human rights abuses.

This was discussed in a parliamentary seating earlier this week with two house representatives asking the British Minister for Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development to put strict measures to deal with the worsening situation in Zimbabwe.

“What measures can Her Majesty’s Government and the European Union take to ensure the independence of the judiciary in Zimbabwe, and what measures can be taken to encourage the South African Government to use their political and economic leverage with Zimbabwe to help resolve the crisis? ,” Baron St John of Bletso asked the minister.

The new calls for sanctions againsts Zimbabwe were resuscitated after the arrests of Henrieta Rushwaya who was arrested Monday afternoon for trying to smuggle 6 Kilograms of gold to Dubai.

“Is the Minister aware that President Mnangagwa’s niece was arrested in Harare yesterday for attempting to smuggle six kilograms of gold to Dubai? At a time when there have been no prosecutions for corruption, despite overwhelming evidence of gross corruption by ZANU-PF government officials,” Baron St John continued.

Another House representative Baron Hain asked for the specific measure that are being put in place to sanction Zimbabwean officials who have been involved in human rights abuse.

“My Lords, what specific steps have the Government taken to sanction those responsible, including government Ministers, for massive human rights violations in Zimbabwe, such as the abduction and torture of Joana Mamombe and her colleagues in June?” Hain said.

According to Hain Mamombe and other Zimbabwe’s pro democracy activists continue to be harassed using the judicial system while police brutality has been rampant without prosecutions.

“She continues to be viciously harassed through the criminal justice system, and police brutality is continuing with impunity: for example, throwing tear gas into a crowded bus on 12 October,” Hain added.

Responding what measures are being taken Minister of Overseas Territories and sustainable development Barroness Sugg said

“My Lords, the UK remains aligned to the EU’s restrictive measures on Zimbabwe. Suspended targeted measures are in place against three current and former security sector chiefs, and Grace Mugabe. The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 now provides the legal basis for the UK to impose autonomous sanctions, and we are in the process of considering our approach to the future sanctions regime in Zimbabwe.”

The call for more sanctions against top Zimbabwean government officials come at a time the Southern African nation has spend millions of dollars paying lobyist companies to push for the removal of sanctions.

Regional body Sadc has also joined the Mnangagwa regime to call for the removal of sanctions and set aside 25 October of every year to lobby for the agenda.



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