Zimbabwe: Politics and Government

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in Zimbabwe.

Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK is seriously concerned about the challenging human rights situation and the continuing abductions, arrests and assault of civil society and opposition activists. We have been clear that the Government of Zimbabwe must meet its international and domestic obligations by respecting the rule of law, safeguarding human rights, and committing to genuine political and economic reform for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. This is a prerequisite for further international support. I delivered these messages when I spoke to Foreign Minister Moyo on 8 June, and in a letter I wrote to the Foreign Minister on 12 August.

The humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is also deeply worrying. Before the onset of Covid-19 Zimbabwe was already facing a humanitarian crisis due to drought and a deteriorating economy. According to recent estimates, by December more than 8.6 million Zimbabweans will likely be without the food they need. In response, we have committed £35.4 million to a Programme managed by the UN World Food Programme to provide food assistance to the most vulnerable Zimbabweans. We have also allocated £5 million to UNICEF for cholera prevention and emergency response, and £21.24 million to the Covid-19 response in Zimbabwe to ensure vital care services can continue. None of this money is channelled directly through the government.

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