Hebert Zharare Political Editor
THE British Government has given Zanu-PF UK branch the green light to operate freely in that country after years of acrimonious relations that saw many cadres being threatened with deportation and loss of jobs as London pursued the illegal regime change agenda here.Britain and its Western allies put Zanu-PF leaders on travel sanctions, in addition to imposing blanket economic sanctions on the entire country after the fallout over funding for the land reform programme.
Zanu-PF supporters resident in the UK could not freely express themselves fearing deportation. Zanu-PF UK branch said British Foreign and Commonwealth Officer, MP Mark Simmonds, announced in a statement yesterday that Zanu-PF members were now free to operate in the UK without hindrances.
Said Mr Simmonds: “There would be no bar on your activities here in the UK, provided you do not contravene UK law, as is the case for any political party.”
Reports from London say Zanu-PF was now being recognised just like any other local British party and may soon start enjoying other privileges.
Zanu-PF UK interim chairman Cde Nick Mangwana said they were happy that the British Government now recognised them like any other political party.
“A lot of cadres were persecuted in machinations led by their own regime change countrymen who continued to campaign for their deportation and expulsion from the country.
“Those in public service jobs nearly lost them and some lost them. Those in academic research had grants and funding withdrawn. However, through continuous engagement by the current steering committee and its interim leadership and our assurance that our intention was to give the other side of the story and represent masses of Zimbabweans who clearly supported Zanu-PF but feared for their stay in the country, we have been allowed to operate freely.
“Assurances were initially given verbally but on insistences of written assurances the details of the leadership was sought and the steering committee obliged,” said Cde Mangwana.
The move is likely to see the revival of Zanu-PF UK which flourished during the era of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 80s.