Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 8th September 2021.

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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 discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the (a) security, (b) human rights and (c) economic situation in Zimbabwe.

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

The UK remains concerned about the human rights situation in Zimbabwe, including abductions, arrests and assaults of civil society and opposition activists. The UK regularly urges the Zimbabwean Government to meet its international and domestic obligations by respecting the rule of law and the freedoms and rights enshrined in the Zimbabwean Constitution, safeguarding human rights, and committing to genuine political and economic reform for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. I most recently raised the human rights situation in Zimbabwe with Foreign Minister Shava on 9 June. While the human rights situation is worrying, the security situation remains stable.

The Zimbabwean economy faces severe challenges and remains fragile. This is largely due to ongoing corruption and the Zimbabwean Government's failure to properly address problems with the exchange rate and subsidies, exacerbated by Covid-19 and 2019's drought. Our Embassy in Harare continues to monitor developments closely, encouraging the Government of Zimbabwe to focus on taking coordinated measures to improve economic policy and management, while protecting the poorest. We will continue to speak out, both privately and in public, where we have concerns, and work alongside the international community to support a better future for all Zimbabweans.

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