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UK dismisses ‘£3m plot’ as insulting


The British government has denied accusations that it is funding Zimbabwe’s private media in a regime change plot and said the UK remained unfazed by accusations from Zanu PF politicians and the State media.

State media has repeatedly carried claims by Zanu PF
officials that the UK was funding Zimbabwe’s independent media through former opposition parties and NGOs to effect regime change in the country.

Lately, the State media ran a series of stories claiming that Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jameson Timba, had a £3 million bank account to “grease journalists” in the private media.

Timba dismissed the allegations as “nonsense and defamatory”.

UK Embassy spokesperson Keith Scott yesterday dismissed the allegations saying the claims were insulting to the former colonial power’s assistance to underprivileged families in the country.

“We are aware of claims made by the State-controlled media over the past few weeks that the British government is funding Zimbabwean organisations to run a regime change agenda,” he said.

“The British government is not, and will not, be funding organisations to issue fictitious stories about the political context in Zimbabwe. The British government is, however, spending large sums of money — $80 million in 2011-12 — on providing essential basic services and protecting the livelihoods of the poorest people,” said Scott.

“It is depressing that some politicians want to denigrate our help to the poor of Zimbabwe for cynical propaganda purposes,” said Scott, the first secretary for political and communications at the British Embassy.

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