Zanu (PF) Behaviour 'Depressing' : UK Embassy

Harare,- The British embassy in Zimbabwe has condemned the demonstration by Zanu (PF) supporters at a hand over ceremony of a mortuary constructed by the consulate at a cost of U$$10 000 in the Mutasa area near Mutare.\r\n

Radio VOP reported this week that dozens of Zanu (PF) supporters waving placards calling for the removal of sanctions disrupted the mortuary handover ceremony attended by British embassy second secretary, Sarah Bennet in Mutasa. The youths demonstrated saying Zimbabwe’s former colonial master, Britain must remove sanctions imposed on the country.

"It is deeply depressing that Zanu (PF) should seek to exploit such an occasion for crude propaganda purposes. The local dignitaries present expressed their embarassment at such behaviour," said an embassy official, Keith Scott in a statement on Friday.

"On 2 February, the people of Mutasa celebrated the opening of a newly refurbished mortuary at St Barbara’s mission hospital courtesy of a grant of $ 10,000 from the British Embassy. However, the handover was marred by a demonstration against so called sanctions by a small group of protestors bussed in by Zanu (PF)."

" The Embassy has also sent a formal complaint to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the harassment directed at its Second Secretary, Dr Sarah Bennett, at the event and expressed its extreme disappointment that handover ceremonies of the sort that Dr Bennett attended on
Wednesday should deliberately be disrupted in this manner," Scott said.

British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mark Canning said it is ‘nonsense’ for anyone to say the British imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe but said the sanctions were imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his sychophants.

"The UK is proud to have been delivering projects such as this for many years. Whether providing new school buildings or textbooks, or refurbishing clinics or providing medicines for all , we are getting real assistance to the people of Zimbabwe. Our substantial aid programme – over 100 million dollars last year has benefited local communities throughout the country," Canning said.

"Unfortunately , we still hear from some quarters the nonsense that the UK and others are hurting Zimbabwe through "sanctions." Only 1 in every 70 000 Zimbabweans are affected by the EU’s restrictive measures because they are targetted at those responsible for Human Rights abuses and behaviour which undermines democracy and good governance."