British Embassy has rubbished claims by Jonathan Moyo

HARARE – The British Embassy has rubbished claims by Zanu PF spindoctor Jonathan Moyo that deputy ambassador for the UK, Tim Cole was behind claims made public by the MDCT ahead of the Speaker vote on Tuesday that the political scientist had offered MDC MPs US$5,000 bribe to vote for the Zanu (PF) candidate.

The Friday edition of the state-run Herald newspaper quotes Moyo saying: "It is notable that a British intelligence officer, Tim Cole, was a central part of the MDC-T circus that made the defamatory allegations and this fact alone is enough not only to unmask the force behind the allegations but also to explain why – in the run up to the election of Speaker – my cellphone experienced unusual technical interference which disappeared immediately after the election."

The British embassy has rejected the alleations clarifying that Tim Cole was infact in  Johannesburg on March 29 when the MDC-T press conference where the plot was announced was held. "The British Embassy totally rejects the absurd allegations made by Prof Jonathan Moyo linking Tim Cole, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy in Harare, to bribery claims made public by MDC-Tsvangirai in advance of the House of Assembly vote for a new Speaker on 29 March,"

UK embassy spokesperson Keithy Scott said. "Mr Cole’s role at the Embassy is to manage the mission and represent the Ambassador in his absence.  It is unacceptable to have his role deliberately misrepresented in this way."

Moyo said he was instituting defamation action against Tendai Biti, MDC-T secretary-general; Nelson Chamisa, MDC-T spokesperson; Innocent Gonese, MDC-T Chief Whip in the House of Assembly; Dorcas Sibanda, legislator for Bulawayo Central "and their British handler Tim Cole." Scott rubbished claims that the British could be tapping the Zanu PF spindoctor’s cellphone, and said the UK was a committed friend of the people of Zimbabwe.

"This year we have provided over $110 million in aid – our largest ever package of support – to support the provision of essential basic services, protect the livelihoods of Zimbabwe’s poorest people and to support economic stabilisation," Scott said.