Writing in an op-ed, Nqaba Matshazi of NewsDay argues that the British Ambassador Catriona Laing is backing President Emmerson Mnangagwa to win the 2018 harmonised elections. He draws parallels between the current situation and what happened in 1980 when the British backed Abel Muzorewa, warning that they may get it wrong once again. Writes Matshazi,
Then, in 1980, the British were obsessed with the idea of building an economically strong country or as Anthony Duff, an envoy of the British told the South African government just ahead of the Lancaster House conference that their aim was to create “… an independent [country], accepted internationally, able to restore itself economically …”
The British are again pushing for a strong country economically and conveniently forgetting human rights abuses, which they were all too happy to talk about a few short years, talk about being fickle.
Before and in the lead up to the 1980 elections, they were desperate to get rid of the Rhodesia problem and again expediency seems to be the underlying theme of their engagement with Zimbabwe.
The British have never been neutral observers in the Zimbabwean electoral process, they have been badly wrong in the past and they could be wrong again this year.