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British MPs Seek To Reverse Mnangagwa Invitation To King Charles Coronation

British Parliamentarians have written to the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs, James Cleverly, to reconsider the government’s invitation to President Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe to attend King Charles III’s coronation over alleged human rights violations.

President Mnangagwa was last week invited to the coronation set for May 6, 2023 at Westminster Abbey and will form part of a long list of international dignitaries expected at the ceremonial home of Britain’s monarchy.

The lawmakers highlighted the widespread political violence and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, including the harassment and imprisonment of opposition members of parliament and party members.

“We urge you to reconsider the government’s advice to Buckingham Palace on the invitation of President Mnangagwa to the Coronation, in the light of the grave political and human rights situation in Zimbabwe.

“To summarise, political violence and human rights abuses are widespread with opposition Members of Parliament and party members harassed, beaten, imprisoned and murdered; corruption is rife, extending to the highest levels of government, destroying the economy and impoverishing the Zimbabwe people; and the judiciary, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and all institutions of the state have been suborned to the ruling party,” said the lawmakers

They said by accepting President Mnangagwa, it will imply that the UK government is endorsing political violence and repression.

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“The Coronation invitation will inevitably be used by President Mnangagwa as tacit acceptance by the UK of publicly evidenced political violence and repression in the run up to the forthcoming election and will be deeply demoralising to ordinary Zimbabweans in their struggle for democracy.

“We therefore urge the government to withdraw President Mnangagwa’s invitation until Job Sikhala MP and other political prisoners are granted their constitutional right to bail and concrete actions are taken to address human rights abuses and guarantee free and fair elections,” charged the lawmakers

Among other issues, the legislators highlighted the continued incarceration of opposition legislator Job Sikhala who has spent over 300 day in pre-trial detention on allegations inciting public violence.

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