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We are not blind to Zimbabwe’s difficult past- UK embassy says

The United Kingdom embassy in Harare today said it is not blind to Zimbabwe’s difficult past or to the many governance challenges that the country is currently facing but it does not support any particular faction, party or individual in the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe.

It said this is response to various accusations following the appearance of Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa on the British broadcasting Corporation programme Hardtalk last week.

There were allegations that Britain was taking sides and was supporting Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Former Higher Education Minister Jonathan, one of Mnangagwa’s fiercest critics, said Britain was making the same mistake it made in 1980 by supporting Muzorewa who ended up losing the elections dismally.

“We have made it very clear that the UK does not support any particular faction, party or individual in the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe,” the embassy said in a statement.

“Our only interest is in seeing that these elections are free and fair. We've put our money where our mouth is: between 2014 and 2019 the UK will have spent approximately £24 million on strengthening civil society's support for transparency, accountability, human rights and citizen engagement around the polls.

“We're certainly not blind to Zimbabwe's difficult past – or to many of the governance challenges that continue to be present today.

“It's totally up to Zimbabweans to decide who they want to govern them. We and our partners want to see that happen through a free and fair election so that Zimbabwe can get back on the path to having its relations with the international community normalised. That surely is the bright future that Zimbabweans fully deserve.”

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