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Britain says Zimbabwe military cannot support any party if elections are to be free and fair

Zimbabwe’s military cannot be a partisan supporter of any one party if elections are to be deemed free and fair, Britain’s Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin who was in Zimbabwe last week said.

She told the British Parliament that she had reinforced this message during her visit where she met President Emmerson Mnangagwa and representatives of opposition political parties and civil society.

The military brought Mnangagwa to power in November last year when it intervened to stop the country from being taken over by “criminals”.

Baldwin had been asked by Stephen Gethins what representations the British government had made on the role of the military and war veterans in the coming elections.

“Former Minister for Africa Rory Stewart met President Mnangagwa on 24 November and discussed the need for transparent, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, in line with Zimbabwe's constitutional requirements,” she responded.

“We are clear that the military cannot be a partisan supporter of any one party if elections are to be deemed free and fair. I reinforced this message in my recent visit to Harare on February 1st and 2nd 2018.”

 

Q & A:

Stephen Gethins Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Affairs and Europe)– To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations has he made to his Zimbabwean counterpart on the role of (a) Zimbabwe Defence Forces and (b) war veterans during the 2018 elections in that country.

Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) – Former Minister for Africa Rory Stewart met President Mnangagwa on 24 November and discussed the need for transparent, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, in line with Zimbabwe's constitutional requirements. We are clear that the military cannot be a partisan supporter of any one party if elections are to be deemed free and fair. I reinforced this message in my recent visit to Harare on February 1st and 2nd 2018.

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