Editorial Comment: Britain must stop duplicity, treachery 

THE outburst by British Minister for Africa, Harriet Baldwin, that the United Kingdom has all but lost confidence in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime is unfortunate.

Source: Editorial Comment: Britain must stop duplicity, treachery – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 7, 2019

United Kingdom Minister for Africa Harriet Baldwin

Editorial Comment

THE outburst by British Minister for Africa, Harriet Baldwin, that the United Kingdom has all but lost confidence in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime is unfortunate.

Not that we supported them in the first place or that we totally agree with Mnangagwa’s trajectory thus far, but that the move by the British is not only uncalled for, but self-serving.

This clearly is perfidious – a pejorative phrase used within the context of international relations and diplomacy to refer to alleged acts of diplomatic sleights, duplicity, treachery and hence infidelity (with respect to perceived promises made to or alliances formed with other nation states) by the UK in their pursuit of self-interest.

We always have a problem with the British and some of their allies each time they try to prescribe so-called solutions for Africa, as if many of them are democratic.

Citizens differed with Mnangagwa and criticised him for playing god at a time Zimbabweans wanted the international world to support the country’s move from former President Robert Mugabe’s regime to a Second Republic, which Mnangagwa and his ilk hijacked. The citizens yearned for true democracy, the opposition political parties called for political reforms in various forms while media called for reforms to operate without fear of arrest or torture.

But did the citizens get the required international support? No. Instead, the British told anybody who cared to listen that Mnangagwa was the man of the moment and required international support. Zimbabweans across the political divide did not agree with that finding.

Was this support about Zimbabweans’ welfare or about economic prosperity for the benefit of citizens? It clearly was premised on Zimbabwe becoming a colony again – yes, the self-serving interests of the British. We have a problem with this mentality where the British, or any western power for that matter, thinks they are superior to Zimbabweans or Africans in particular.

The punitive measures they are mooting will not hurt Mnangagwa, but the poor Zimbabwean majority. Clearly, the citizens have no moral obligation to support the British’s current move. What we require to come out of this quagmire is dialogue among Zimbabweans. We demand international support for dialogue to take place as the political protagonists intransigence is hurting the country. We believe that no right-thinking Zimbabwe should rejoice over the so-called sanctions which are intended to inflict maximum damage on the country and its citizens.

Of course, Mnangagwa has lost the support of his most vocal cheerleader since the November 2017 coup. That the British have vowed not to support Zimbabwe’s bid to re-join the Commonwealth is another story. At this point we are on our own, and with our resources, it’s time to make use of our thinking faculties to extricate the country on our own.

Indeed, China did it on its own, now they believe Mnangagwa’s Cabinet is incompetent, while Russia is only interested in our valuable minerals to expand its arms market. Without British support, the European Union won’t provide a rescue package. Regrettably, South Africa is posturing while Mnangagwa has failed to meet the demands laid by the US for a bailout.

Mnangagwa must no doubt reform and reunite the country for the sake of progress. He has no other weapon under his sleeve, but Zimbabweans. This is not the time for selfishness, Zimbabwe is for us all, so we call upon all political leaders to come to the table and chart the country’s new trajectory as a matter of urgency – brick by brick, not along partisan lines. Yesterday’s call for dialogue is a step in the right direction, but a neutral venue and convener should be the guarantors not any political player, including the President. To the British, please leave us alone, you have already failed us when we needed you most.



  • comment-avatar

    The British have come to their senses after fawning over Mnangagwa when he first took power. He has presided over the murder, rape, beating, torture, starving and deprivation of his people after arguably stealing another election. I don’t know how the Brits could do otherwise. Yes they are duplicitous and perfidious but in this case they are right. The whole of Zimbabwe has lost confidence in Mnangagwa, why shouldn’t they?

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    Flick 4 years ago

    “To the British, please leave us alone, you have already failed us when we needed you most”. Yep!!! We failed you when we handed the country to mugabe in 1980 and look where that has got you, 39 years later.

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    JRR56 3 years ago

    Zimbabweans need to grow up and see the government for what it is. The Brits are 100% correct, do not support Zanu PF as they have not reformed in any way. If they do reform (unlikely) or the people actually wake up and toss this lot in the street do not give any bail out package. It will only be stolen (again) and Zimbabwe will be in a worse position than before (if that is possible)

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    I am not the one 3 years ago

    Whilst Zim has proven again and agian that they are masters of
    incompetence, bribery and corruption, it may be fair to say that
    they learnt it from the past masters at it, the UK. Why Africa is always enthralled
    by the grubby little island is beyond me. That the UK have called out the next generation (ED)
    of incompetent “leaders” in Zim is quite convenient for the UK, as they have little of quality to show
    themselves and what is the impact of making such pronouncements on Zim…none, as it provides
    a nice little distraction from their own dirty backyard.
    Will this encourage Zim to grasp the moment and drive the country
    forward…very much doubt it. They will wallow in their own mire, waiting for another handout.
    The Chinese and Russians will plunder and pillage to their hearts delight and when I go to
    my box, nothing will have changed. Surprised…not really, I dont think that we will ever be taken by surprise
    by govt’s of African countries. It is more the disgraceful conduct of the so called “Developed” world which

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    MILES R ANDERSON 3 years ago

    This uninformed inaccurate article fails to address the fact that the people of Zimbabwe hailed Mnangagwa’s ascendance like schoolchildren. If ypu recall and against my pleas on social media , they swarmed on to the streets bedecking soldiers with flowers and holding aloft banners purporting to the ‘ Christ like ‘ coming of ED. Nothing could be said against him. Rather than accept the fact that the very man they were adoring was in fact a gross human rights abuser, responsible for so many deaths, the architect of Gukhuruhundi and Murambatswina, they rather heeded the call of such luminaries as Evan Mawarire to welcome the army and ED with open arms, (the pastor himself felt the warm embrace of ED while he languished in prison no doubt). This shocking display of total naivete resulted in ED’s victory. The people of Zimbabwe only revolted when the price of petrol was doubled, not when the very man who had persecuted them for the past 38 years became their President. So now instead of looking to themselves as instigators of their own demise they accuse the British Government, which is so much easier. And yes of course Harriet Baldwin and her associates were naivety itself in hailing Mnangagwa as some sort of saviour, but look to yourselves first people of Zimbabwe and shoulder the blame yourselves.

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    Tsotsi 3 years ago

    Zimbabwe is useless.