Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:10 am on 17th December 2002.

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Photo of Michael Moore Michael Moore Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 10:10 am, 17th December 2002

This has been an important debate, which rightly focuses our attention on one of the continuing disgraces in Africa and elsewhere. I add my congratulations to Mr. Mackay on securing the debate. I endorse the point that he made at the outset that it is shame that we are forced to discuss Zimbabwe in Westminster Hall instead of having the opportunity to discuss it in Government time in the main Chamber. Perhaps the Minister will give some consideration to that and the various pleas that have been made to the Leader of the House for a debate in the House when it returns in the new year.

We have heard a range of contributions, which have rightly focused on the chronic situation in Zimbabwe. There is a consensus that all of us need to focus on a proper response. The economy is dire with inflation of well over 100 per cent., according to some reports; unemployment is more than 60 per cent.; starvation is rife; and the situation is exacerbated by a fuel crisis that is bringing the country to a halt, with the latest negotiations between it and its fuel supplier, Libya, apparently running into problems.