Britain will continue supporting Zimbabwe in the fight against Covid-19 to minimise the impact of the pandemic, an official with the country’s embassy has said.
This comes after the British government recently announced a US$43,6 million aid package towards Covid-19 medical supplies to assist in fighting the pandemic in Zimbabwe.
Responding to questions e-mailed to the embassy by The Herald this week, the official said: “The UK continues to stand with the people of Zimbabwe, and is working with its United Nations partners in Zimbabwe to minimise the worst impacts of the current humanitarian and Covid-19 crises upon them.”
The development comes as the two countries’ diplomatic ties intensify, which dovetails into President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement call with the rest of the world.
In a related matter, the official also indicated that the UK was committed to supporting the readmission of Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth grouping provided the country met all the values and principles set out in its charter.
“It is not for the UK alone to make the decision on whether Zimbabwe can rejoin the Commonwealth. The final decision is for all Commonwealth members. But the UK would only support re-admission if Zimbabwe meets the requirements for admission to the Commonwealth, complying with the values and principles set out in the Commonwealth charter,” the official said.
The UK was committed to fighting Covid-19 across the world and has so far pledged £744 million to support vaccine and treatments research, protecting fragile economies and helping organisations such as WHO and Unicef to slow the spread of the disease.
The British Embassy is in regular contact with up to 200 British passport holders who are ordinarily resident in the UK, but for now have decided to remain in Zimbabwe where they were visiting, revealed the official. This excludes the far larger number of British nationals whose legal place of residence is Zimbabwe,
The UK is one of the countries that have been assisting Zimbabwe in times of need, including when the Southern African country was hit by the tropical Cyclone Idai.