Tsvangirai Asks Britain To Remove Sanctions

Tsvangirai revealed this in Parliament Wednesday while responding to a question by Zanu (PF) MP for Mwenezi East, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti who sought clarification on the object of his recent visit to London.

“I met the Prime Minister of the UK Mr Cameron specifically on issues of this nature (sanctions), that you cannot encourage reform by removing certain people and leaving certain people on the list because it is actually a discouraging move,” he said.

Tsvangirai, who was speaking for the first time since coming back from his controversial visit to Britain last week, said he also asked the British premier to impress upon the rich western countries to help the country clear its debts. He said debt was slowing economic recovery in the country.

Tsvangirai also criticised Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu for his continued refusal to act on cabinet directives aimed at media reforms, adding he believed the minister was taking instructions from elsewhere.

“It is not government policy for anyone who has sworn to uphold the constitution, to uphold collective decisions of cabinet to defy them,” he said: “My own conclusion is that this is nothing to do with him. Perhaps the person who is giving him instructions must come forward and say why he is giving him that direction. I don’t think any minister must stand up in defiance against the directives of cabinet and against the directives of the principals. There must be a reason behind that and especially where a civil servant stands up to confirm that defiance…”

“It we don’t have media reforms, then we must as well forget about a free and fair election. Not only are you undermining the right of Zimbabweans to have what they are supposed to have but you are also undermining the right of Zimbabweans to free information and free expression,” he said.

Turning to the ZESAgate, Tsvangirai asked President Mugabe and other ZESA defaulters to settle their bills immediately to allow the struggling power utility to get back to its feet.

“Services rendered must be paid for if you want the continued service to be provided,” he said. “Senior government officials should be at the forefront of settling these bills. My appeal to my colleagues in government is … please pay something. This culture of getting things for free must end. We all have to pay.”