TWO critical lessons drawn from the recent debate on Zimbabwe in the British House of Lords, which called for a review of European sanctions on Harare, are that their failure to gain access to the country’s mineral resources due to that embargo as well as the vanity of their illegal regime change agenda are returning to haunt them. 

On March 7 2024, British legislators spent more than 15 minutes discussing, as usual, what they said was the Zimbabwean ‘situation’. 

In essence, this was a typical exhibition of their arrogance and colonial mentality where they still believe they are the owners of this country. 

While they agreed amongst themselves that the debate was prompted by the US’s new sanctions regime on Zimbabwe, they could not help but inadvertently admit that their illegal sanctions on Harare had failed to achieve the intended objective of illegal regime change in the Southern African country. 

On March 4 2024 Uncle Sam announced what he flaunted as ‘removal’ of US illegal sanctions on the country in a new package that took aim at the country’s leadership as it unravelled a new thrust to its regime change push in Harare. 

The Americans are typically behaving like a frustrated suitor and are trying to divide the ruling ZANU PF and Zimbabwe through their new sanctions regime. 

They are not relenting on their hostility towards Zimbabwe which they believe will galvanise the masses to rebel against the Government. 

On the other side of the Atlantic, the British —chief orchestrators of the West’s hostile policy against Harare — are coming out in the open in a seemingly innocuous way. 

They feel left out of the ongoing scramble for Zimbabwe and want to make amends with Harare. 

Also, they feel ‘uncomfortable’ with the Chinese and Russians’ inroads into ‘their’ country — Zimbabwe’s economy. 

Hence their rather subtle admission that they are likely to adopt a new policy on Zimbabwe — which will be friendly on paper at least. 

Like the Americans, the British have not ‘forgiven’ Zimbabwe for embarking on the revolutionary land reform programme of 2000. 

They are not likely to do that anytime soon. 

But while the respective stances of the two Western allies are seemingly at odds, there is need for Zimbabwean authorities to sleep with one eye open. 

It is in times like these that their tormentors are at their most dangerous.

 For instance, Lord Bellingham’s debate question to the British House of Lords on whether there were plans to review British and EU sanctions on Zimbabwe must be understood in the context of Britain’s desire to regain control of Harare’s land and its multifarious resources.

Both the British and the Americans have never made secret of their wish to take charge of Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon and the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office unwittingly exposed the British-America alliance on ‘Project Zimbabwe’. 

“. . . We continue to keep all sanctions, designations and regimes under review and do not comment any future sanctions plans,” said Lord Ahmad.

That prompted a flurry of other provocative questions from the ‘Lords’, with Bellingham saying that the wars in Ukraine and Gaza had ‘kept Zimbabwe out of the spotlight’ and asked why Britain was not considering ‘tighter sanctions targeted at ZANU PF, their wives and their cronies’.

One Lord St John of Bletso was daring and blistering in his submission.

He wanted Zimbabwe to incorporate the opposition into Government, a suggestion that was made by former opposition CCC leader Nelson Chamisa over the weekend!

It is this irritating alliance between the opposition and Western powers that has prompted Zimbabweans to reject them at the ballot. 

This is not the first time that the British leadership has openly admitted to working with the opposition to either topple the Government or push for their incorporation into Government.

On June 25 2002, four months after Britain had waylaid the EU into imposing illegal sanctions on February 18 2002, then British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw assured the opposition of the so-called international community of ‘support’ in removing ZANU PF from power. 

“I say to opposition members that the issue for the international community is how we do this (removing ZANU PF from power). That is the truth of it,” said Straw as published by Barker, Global Research on April 16 2008.

On January 8 2008, Straw would finally let the cat out of the bag on what the British ‘strategy’ on Zimbabwe entailed.

“Our approach has been to internationalise the issue, while taking a firm lead within the international forums in which we speak. That is why the General Affairs Council — the Foreign Affairs Council — of the European Union is in train to take firm action on this; why I called a meeting of the Commonwealth Ministers on 20 December, 2007; why I have spelled out to the House that if the situation in Zimbabwe continues to disintegrate we will take stern action,” he said.

“One of my key aims has been to ensure that the issue ceases to be a bilateral one and is made an issue of shared concern by the international community.”

Straw was not alone in this madness.

Then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair (pictured), who had mobilised the West to slap Zimbabwe with illegal economic sanctions and had even contemplated a military invasion, also admitted to working with the opposition, the then MDC.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe had managed to convince the world that Britain was manipulating a bilateral issue into a global problem.

In 2003, during a discussion on Zimbabwe in the House of Commons, Blair said: “We work closely with the MDC on measures that we should take in respect of Zimbabwe. It is very important that we must make every effort to put pressure for change.”

The MDC had claimed that it was pushing for ‘change’ in Zimbabwe.

More than two decades later, the British colonial mentality continues to linger with malicious intent. 

They now want the opposition in Government.

“Is it not time to convene an all-party parliamentary conference in Zimbabwe to help pave the way for incumbent Government to be more inclusive and address the reduction of poverty for millions of long-suffering Zimbabweans?” asked Lord St John.

Therein lies the tragedy of the British!

Why would a duly elected Government be told how to run its country’s affairs because some hopelessly out-of-sorts politician who cannot even manage his political party affairs has said so?

Why should the country’s leadership rescue the stuttering career of that politician?

Why are the British pretending to be oblivious to the fact that it is their reckless foreign policy on Zimbabwe that has condemned millions of Zimbabweans to immense suffering?

If their intention was to mask their interference in our affairs, then the British are certainly doing a shoddy job.

The British government, said Lord Ahmad (pictured), would ‘work with key partners, to ensure that the current Government adopts that inclusive approach’.

We all know who those ‘key’ partners are.

He went on:

“The noble Lord is correct: looking at what Africa and particularly Zimbabwe provide, their critical mineral resources are a major opportunity. Zimbabwe is the biggest provider of lithium, along with the DRC. There are opportunities ahead…”

Meanwhile, Chamisa, who recently told the world that he had taken a sabbatical from politics, told mourners in Chivi North over the weekend that he is pushing SADC to organise ‘talks’ between him and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, repeating his now nauseating claims that he held the keys to the country’s prosperity.

We wish him luck on that!

While he is banking on the British and SADC to organise ‘talks’ that will only happen in his mind, the country continues to forge ahead.

The British have finally come to terms with their recklessness; they know the channels to follow if they really want to be part of the ‘Build Zimbabwe Agenda’.


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