The British House of Lords on Wednesday discussed the possibility of imposing fresh sanctions on Zimbabwe following reports that Ms Henrietta Rushwaya, president of the Zimbabwe Mining Federation was arrested trying to smuggle six (6) kgs of gold.
Speaking during the question-and-answer session in the House of Lords, UK Minister of State for Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development Baroness Elizabeth Sugg said the UK was contemplating a new round of coercive measures against its former colony.
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She was responding to a question raised by British MP and former anti-apartheid campaigner, Lord Peter Hain who asked what specific steps the UK government was taking to sanction Zimbabwe for bad governance. Sugg said:
My Lords, the UK remains aligned to the EU’s restrictive measures on Zimbabwe.
Suspended targeted measures are in place against three current and former security sector chiefs, and (former First Lady) Grace Mugabe.
The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 now provides the legal basis for the UK to impose autonomous sanctions, and we are in the process of considering our approach to the future sanctions regime in Zimbabwe.
Debate on Zimbabwe was triggered by Lord Andrew St John of Bletso, who speaks on African affairs and is an expert on southern Africa.
He had asked what the UK intends to do with Zimbabwe following reports of continued human rights violations and corruption involving Mnangagwa and his relatives, in an apparent reference to Rushwaya’s gold smuggling case.
This comes as Zimbabwe joined the rest of SADC countries in calling for the removal of sanctions imposed two decades ago.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo has expressed surprise at the level of UK’s “invasive interest in our internal affairs” adding that the Southern African country does not need constant supervision or correction.