Out going British ambassador says restrictive measures stays

HARARE – The outgoing British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mark Canning, has maintained that the restrictive measures imposed on Robert Mugabe and his supporters are justified, and said the European Union will review the embargo as soon as there is peace and stability in the country.

Mr. Canning made the remarks after bidding farewell to Vice President John Nkomo, after a two and a half year tour of diplomatic duty.

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Mr. Canning, who was accompanied by his deputy Mr. Tim Cole, refused to buy into Zanu PF sanctions propaganda saying there were no sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and preferred to call them restrictive measures.

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He went on to say the EU would review the political situation in Zimbabwe. 

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Mr. Canning also explained how he helped train the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in the 80’s and assisted in the training of the military forces under Mozambique’s FRELIMO government.

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He reflected on fond memories of that era, and claimed that he is so passionate about Zimbabwe.

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“I love Zimbabwe. I’m passionate about Zimbabwe. I love the people. Zimbabweans have shown that they are very resilient,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s relations with Britain, which were cordial soon after independence, took a nose dive when the Labour Party under the leadership of Tony Blair took power in Britain in 1996.

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The Labour Party refused to honour the pledges made by their Conservatives counterparts and said they had no obligation to provide funding to buy land from white farmers. In reaction Mugabe went on to behave like a big baby and destroyed the country’s agriculture and the economy went into unprecedented slide only to be rescued by the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.