Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Sibusiso Moyo expressed disbelief and disappointment over a recent debate on the arrest of Henrietta Rushwaya for trying to smuggle 6 kgs of gold to Dubai by the British Upper House.
The House of Lords representatives alleged that Rushwaya is President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s niece and asked what their government is doing to address issues of corruption in Zimbabwe.
The leader of the House in the British Government responded by saying they were working with the European Union, African Union as well as South Africa to address the Zimbabwe issue.
In a statement, Minister Moyo said the deliberate attempt to tarnish Mnangagwa by linking him to the Rushwaya case is a ‘new low’ by the Lords.
“We take note of the debate which took place in the British House of Lords on 27 October and, once again, express our surprise at the level of invasive interest in our internal affairs which persists in the hallowed halls of Westminster Palace.
“Naturally, we are disappointed at the overally negative tone and tenor of the debate and by the uninformed quality of much of the commentary or observation made by those who spoke.
“The deliberate attempt to besmirch His Excellency the President, by way of innuendo, with the corruption and smuggling case involving Henrietta Rushwaya, is a new low, even for the noble Lords,” said Moyo
He said it is unfortunate that the indirect threats of sanctions were under consideration in London and is a clear admission that the UK is actively engaging other countries with the view of increase pressure on Zimbabwe.
“We note, as deeply unfortunate, the implied threat of more sanctions from the UK and the assurance given to the Lords that such measures are currently under active consideration in London.
“Equally unfortunate is the clear acknowledgement by the British Government that it is actively engaging others – including the African Union, the European Union, the Commonwealth, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and South Africa – with a view to further intensifying pressure upon Zimbabwe.”
Moyo said the Government had two weeks ago submitted the formal Instrument of Ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom – which will allow for the continuity of preferential Zimbabwe-UK trade even after Brexit.