We’ll respect Sadc choice, says UK


Ms Debprah Bronnert

From Patrick Chitumba   in Victoria Falls
THE United Kingdom has pledged to continue assisting the Southern Africa Development Community which is now under the chairmanship of President Mugabe.
In an interview soon after President Mugabe assumed the chairmanship of the regional body at the 34th Sadc Heads of State and Government Summit here yesterday, British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Deborah Bronnert said London would not dictate the leadership of Sadc.

“Well it is up to Sadc to decide who the leadership of Sadc should be and clearly that’s a matter for Sadc. I am sure that our relationship with Sadc will continue. We have always worked with Sadc and nothing will change,” she said.

Ms Bronnert said London had always been supportive of the regional bloc, adding that it would be business as usual.

“I am sure we will work with it (Sadc) as we have done in the past.”

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa said it was a good development that Britain was recognising Sadc under the leadership of President Mugabe.

“It is a good development that Britain has said it is going to support Sadc under President Mugabe. It marks a new era since London has been hostile to Harare.”

Ambassador Mutsvangwa said Britain should now work on total lifting of the illegal sanctions which he said were serving no purpose at all.

“It would be an act of goodwill if Britain would now move towards removing the sanctions it imposed on us and it will be very good if Britain would also urge America to lift the sanctions.

“President Barack Obama has  also said there was a need to revisit the sanctions issue since they are harming the ordinary people. So we really appreciate the stance by Britain as said by their representative to Zimbabwe,” he said.

President Mugabe has taken over leadership of Sadc following his election as Deputy Chairman at the 2013 Summit in Malawi. He will lead the bloc under the theme: Sadc Strategy for Economic Transformation – Leveraging the Region’s Diverse Resources for Sustainable Economic and Social Development through Beneficiation and Value Addition.

The vision seeks to help steer Southern Africa towards sustainable socio-economic development on the strength of its vast natural resources. The region leads precious metal, diamond and copper production, which accounts for two-thirds of Africa’s mineral exports by value.

However, its citizens are yet to benefit significantly from these resources, 90 percent of which are being exported raw.

Britain and her allies imposed illegal sanctions on Harare – a situation that has led to the meltdown of the economy even if it says they are targeted.

President Mugabe has been vocal in calling on Britain to remove the sanctions which have had negative effects on our economy.

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  • Simbai

    Zanu-PF is always thinking the ‘illegal sanctions’ lie repeated often enough will be believed by Africa’s most ‘literate’ population. Conveniently ignoring the fact that in 2013, the EU imported US$560 million of Zimbabwean goods and exported US$378 million to Zimbabwe, or that this year the largest importer of Zimbabwean tobacco is Belgium.

    • Makusakatara


      Sanctions are not a lie but a reality that is hurting us the ordinary people of this country. Anyone who thinks that sanctions are a lie or are targeted at a few individuals in Government is the illiterate fool around. Those statistics you quote there are just a publicity gimmick but in realty, no such imports were done by the EU in 2013. Please spare us the silly propaganda from the wicked westerners.

      • N. Sithole

        Give us the correct figures sir.

        • Makusakatara


          The correct statistic is that the EU regimes, individually and severally did not import anything from this country because that would be promoting a regime they do not want and one they want to topple. We won’t count what they do with or through their British companies here because no returns come back to Zimbabwe.

        • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

          Recently at the so called Anerica-Africa conference Obama was put on the spot about sanctions by a Zimbabwe business student and he admitted that sanctions were hurting our economy. The pervasive negative effects of ZEDRA , if you understand the provisions of the satanic statute, you would not insult Zimbabweans to prove their sufffering in figures. My foot!

      • Vusumuzi Bvunzawabaya

        How was Smith able to withstand these sanctions does anybody know. He also has a war to fight and unfriendly neighbours. I still believe CORRUPTION is our undoing macomrades :eg diamonds literally walking away from Chiadzva!

        • Makusakatara


          There were no sanctions on Rhodesia. Rhodesia could trade with any country it wanted and there was no proceed(s) from the sale of Chrome, copper, gold and what have you that were confiscated throughout that time.

          Britain, America, Israel and South Africa continued to ship weapons of war to the regime of Ian Smith. So, please do not tell us such hogwash.

          Corruption, YES, it will contribute but only a very minute percentage. The devastation of our economy was as a result, DIRECTLY, of economic sanctions – declared and undeclared – that were imposed on us by the regimes of the west.

          This is being exacerbated by the fact that all our proceeds from the sale of our minerals and agric products are being confiscated by the Obama regime AND anyone who does or wants to do business with us is threatened with prosecution and the confiscation of their businesses by the same Obama regime.

          • Mai Bhoyi

            “”This is being exacerbated by the fact that all our proceeds from the sale of our minerals and agric products are being confiscated by the Obama regime”"
            Please dont lie.
            You may support the system but be objective .On sanctions who told you that we cant sell to anyone. The Dutch are awaiting our flowers, the EU our beef but reality is we have nothing to sell comrade.

          • Makusakatara


            I am not lying. The truth of the matter is that they may be waiting for our flowers or our beef but the moment payment is made, the money is confiscated and that to me is barbaric to say the least.

          • sam geza

            Is there proof of this claim comrade?The WTO would scream I tell you:nothing of the sort

          • Makusakatara


            There is proof if you want it because it is there in the public domain. The problem is that you pick and chose what to follow and/or believe. Start being objective and you will know that there is proof to this.

            If they could close an Embassy account (with diplomatic immunity) – using ZiDERA – what stops them from taking proceeds from flowers sold in Belgium?

        • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

          Smith got support to break and defeat sanctions from Mozambigue before the collapse of the colonial govt there. He then continued to get support from SA and US because he told then he was fighting communist terorists. The US govt had Cde Mandela listed as a terrorist even when he had become SA President.. He was only removed from that list after some years ,when they invited him to receive some “honour“ in US , when they discovered to their embarrassment that he was still banned! So Smth was not clever but got assistance from SA and US racists!
          The issue of diamonds propaganda does not hold water. With Kimberly Process approval,mining conditions there dont allow the “walking way“ of diamonds you are fooolishly imagining! Tsvangirai ,MPs and NGOs visited the Chiadzwa operations during the GNU and saw how tight the security is there! How did you miss all the reports about these fact finding visits?Biti as GNU minister , requested the US govt to remove sanctions on our diamond trade to improve our govt revenue! If you missed that then you are a very stupid propagandist. Sanctions are still rea!

          • Samuel Moyo

            There are no sanctions on our diamonds comrade. So why are we not getting money from diamonds into the treasury when as you claim there is tight security?Why is government short of funds then comrade.

  • Col Olver Mzimba

    With countries like Mozambique joining the British Commowealth and almost all SADC countries doing exactly the opposite of what Zimbabwe is doing surely Britain need not worry about the Mugabe Chairpersonship of SADC. From a UK point of view this could be just another non-event

    • Kuta Kinte

      Event or non-event, Zimbabwe is the current chair – so please yourself.

    • Makusakatara


      Zimbabwe is advocating for value addition and beneficiation which is something that no country in Southern Africa has ever talked about for fear of scaring potential investors but now the whole region is in agreement with Zimbabwe on this subject, which is the SADC theme at the on-going Summit in Mosi-a-Tunya. So the “opposite” direction by ALL SADC countries against Zimbabwe ONLY exist in your rotten mind.

      • Andre Moore

        “Zimbabwe is advocating for value addition and beneficiation which is something that no country in Southern Africa”

        South Africa has been advocating this (for decades under Nats and ANC), but it fails when facing red-tape, inadequate education, arbitrary govt bureaucracy and laws that are anti-business. Beneficiation cannot work as a govt organised initiative without becoming a drain on the economy.

        • Makusakatara


          Where has South Africa advocated this? You rightly said that “under Nats and ANC”, which means nothing of this sort was said or done by South Africa at regional block level. But come Zimbabwe, we formulated the theme and put it right at the apex of the SADC regional block – the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government. So you see the difference.

          This is just like the cry for a UN permanent seat in the Security Council. No country in Africa – but it does not mean they did not privately talk about it – raised the issue publicly until us, Zimbabwe, took the bull by the horns.

          Thereafter, all Tom, Dick and Jerry countries started shouting at the top of their voices for two permanent seats for Africa.

          At this very Summit, in which Zimbabwe has become SADC Chair, we are pioneers in calling for Africa to recognise Mwalim Julius NYERERE for the role Tanzania played in liberating AFRICA; the burden and hardships NYERERE and his country had to endure and carry as host to ALL Southern African Liberation Movements.

          Soon you shall hear the hijackers talking about this as if they were the first to advocate for the honour. Ndatenda!!

      • Vusumuzi Bvunzawabaya

        KiKiKikikiki!Botswana started the beneficiation a long time ago! You need power to start that process comrade and with ZESA the way it is this is but just but a dream for Zimbabwe!

        • Makusakatara


          We are not talking about individuals countries quietly doing these initiatives but as a block NO SADC country had talked about this openly for fear of raffling feathers of those benefiting from our raw materials. Zimbabwe has chosen this theme and put it to the Summit – something that has never been done before.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Indeed out former colonial master has no choice in recognizing our government, after the bruising of their foolish Tsvangirai at the elections last year. We entrenched our land revolution in our new constitution , thereby burying an cause for UK`s support for MDCT! UK must do the only decent and honourable action to eat a diplomatic humble pie by going to EU and US to agree on the total removal of the illegal sanctions hurting Zimbwabweans . This is also a strong message to our brothers and sisters in MDCT that Zimbabwe is moving on while they sulk , instead of reforming by into patriotic and pan African politics, which is the only way that will cleanse then from their stinking image as neo colonial puppets

    • dz

      All things equal.. our brothers and sisters in Zanu pf are nearing extinction faster than those in mdc.. did you hear what Mutsvangwa said about his Vice President on Saturday????

      • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

        Yes I read about Cde MUtsvangwa`s interview, but I differ with you totally on the interpretation of his interview . No where did he cast any prediction about ZANUPF extinction, as you wrongly try to imagine.. ZANUPF is in a strong position to debate internal issues without degenerating into fodder for neo colonial forces! You are entitled to your naive conclusion which borders on Baba Jukwa-like predictions last year before ZANUPF won resoundingly! That is your political nostalgia as you enjoy your democratic right to be politically uninformed!

  • john

    It is a good sign that Britain finally wants to trade with Zimbabwe again rather than continue with hostilities, they however need to replace various members of embassy staff who were against the Zimbabwe government as they will not be compatible with a resumption in trade.

    • raftguide

      This is NOT what the story says. Read it again. It says UK will continue as it has always done assisting Sadc. Zimbabwe is not mentioned. And if the so called sanctions serve no purpose it matters little if they stay or go then?

  • Zimbabwe United

    Who cares what the Brits choose to do? Its a matter for the record that they are an unrepented imperialist who come to Zimbabwe for same old imperial plunder.

    • mhofu

      If the government did not care this would have not been reported by herald. Guys u wud not even mind about that development

  • chipazhamongo

    Do not worry about the short sighted rhodesians who will always think the whiteman is their answer. Be assured no matter how sweet the cake may be they will always think it would have been sweeter if the white man had baked it. Avo tichangoramba tichivatonga kusvikira zvanaka.

    • zindman

      why should bronnert and her london always want to comment about SADC and its developments? who are they really? they want to continue to think that SADC is still their queen’s empire? forget deborah. you still live in the ’70s when the whole of SADC was still a colony? that is a dream that will never come true.to hell with yu and yo london, and yo queen.

  • Makusakatara


    Nobody denied that Botswana has been deneficiating since 2008 but what we are saying is that this was not benefiting SADC and it was not a collective voice coming from SADC. Today, value addition and beneficiation, as advocated by Zimbabwe, is the theme of the Summit of Heads of State and Government in this country.

    Investors will not fear the 51% because in Botswana it is actually 70%; in another SADC country it is 55% and in ALL the other countries of the region, there is some kind of indigenisation but investors are flocking to these countries in droves.

    Sanctions, my dear, are the only impediment to investment in this country. Investors are afraid they will be carpet bombed by America if they deal with us. It is as simple as all that!!

  • Makusakatara


    Corruption is nothing to write home about in as far as the decline in our economy is concerned. ONLY SANCTIONS stand out as the real threat that has brought our economy to its knees.

    It is a lie that 95% of diamond revenue is going to less than 10 individuals. Who are these if you may want to tell us??

    ZiDERA was recently used to close our Embassy account in Washington. OFAC, using ZiDERA, has confiscated proceeds from the sale of our resources on many occasions.

    Money send to our diplomats is held for weeks or even months by the American regime of Obama using ZiDERA.

    Need I say more??