UK works with Sadc on roadmap


The United Kingdom says it is working with Sadc to ensure free and fair elections are organised in Zimbabwe.

Britain’s Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Howell told the House of Commons on Tuesday they were working with international partners including Sadc, to support efforts for an election roadmap which would lead to credible and properly monitored elections.

“We are working with international partners, particularly the South African Development Community, to support their efforts to create an election roadmap leading to credible and properly monitored elections,” Howell said.

The disclosure confirms why President Robert Mugabe may have suddenly become very uneasy with the role of the Sadc-appointed facilitator to Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

Zanu PF on Thursday said it did not want the involvement of the British in such issues.

“We do not accept the British’s involvement in Sadc issues because they are the ones who put us in this mess after they imposed economic sanctions and failed to meet their obligations under the Lancaster House Agreement,” Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu PF spokesperson, said last night.

“We have been fighting the British and we will continue fighting them.”

President Mugabe has threatened not to obey the decisions of Sadc’s Politics, Defence and Security Organ calling for a roadmap to bring an immediate end to violence and persecution of political rivals in Zimbabwe.

In London, Howell said effective election monitoring was critical to avoid a repeat of the violence and irregularities of the 2008 elections which were rendered indecisive forcing the three key political parties into an inclusive government.

“The UK stands ready to assist in any election monitoring effort, including through multilateral partners such as the EU or Commonwealth. However, any such efforts would have to be in response to an invitation by the Government of Zimbabwe,” he said.