By Rungano Dzikira
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Lieutenant-General (Retired) Sibusiso B. Moyo’s statement recently, rebuffing the British House of Lords debate over Henrietta Rushwaya’s gold smuggling case, has sparked voluminous praise and commentary from analysts.
In a statement, Moyo said Government was disappointed at the overall negative tone and tenor of the debate and by the uninformed quality of much observation by those who spoke.
“The deliberate attempt to besmirch His Excellency the President, by way of innuendo, with corruption and smuggling case involving Henrietta Rushwaya, is a new low, even for the noble Lords,” said Minister Moyo.
Moyo conceded that it was saddening to note that the UK Government representation in the House echoed London’s now well-known refrain simply dismissing Zimbabwe’s progress on reform as ‘inadequate.’
“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.
“Equally unfortunate is the clear acknowledgement by the British Government that it is actively engaging others – including the African Union, the European Union, the Common Wealth, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and South Africa,” Moyo added.
Speaking on Moyo’s remarks, political analyst Ray Mwando heaped praises on the Foreign Minister’s boldness.
“Indeed the Union Jack was lowered 40 years ago. The UK government has more teething issues to attend to. Rushwaya was caught by our local systems. Let our own system deal with the case,”
Concurring with Mwando, political analyst Collius Murano also said UK needs to be reminded that Zimbabwe was no longer a colony to the British.
“The UK’s obsession with Zimbabwe is incredible. We are a sovereign nation and we have the capacity to handle our own issues internally. There is no need for intervention from the British,” he said.
Commenting on the issue, Terrence Rutsvara concurred with Minister Moyo’s remarks that the openness of the New Dispensation was not an open invitation for interference or intrusion into Zimbabwe’s affairs.
“The Second Republic’s sincere willingness to engage and re-engage with all who wish to engage with Zimbabwe is no sign of weakness, and the UK needs to be reminded of that,” he said.
However, Government says it remains committed to do business with the UK following the submission of the formal instrument of Ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement between Zimbabwe and the UK.