Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is intelligent and genuinely concerned about the generality of Zimbabweans while President Robert Mugabe is courteous and engaging, Britain’s new ambassador to Zimbabwe Deborah Bronnert has said.
Bronnert, however, says President Mugabe and his lieutenants who have been targeted under the European Union restrictive measures needed to carry out more reforms for the measures to be removed and for the country to be readmitted into the Commonwealth.
Bronnert presented her credentials to the President last month and had a meeting with him for about 90 minutes. She also had meetings with the Prime Minister and the country’s two Vice-Presidents where they discussed bilateral issues, Britain’s humanitarian work in Zimbabwe and the implementation of the GPA, among other issues.
“We had an engaging conversation. He (President Mugabe) engaged on the issues very well and was friendly and courteous. The Prime Minister was very impressive, intelligent and focused on the issues that affect the ordinary Zimbabweans, such as job creation,” she said.
Bronnert said she would prioritise improving relations between Zimbabwe and her country and would engage Zimbabweans across the political divide to foster good understanding, promote trade and ensure that UK’s humanitarian aid, which is around $130 million this year, continued to grow.
She said she hoped Zimbabwe would fully implement the GPA and hold free and fair elections, a condition she said was crucial in normalising relations.
“I’d like the relationship between the UK and Zimbabwe on a political level to be transformed and the quickest and most effective path to that is the implementation of the GPA and the holding of free and fair elections,” she said.