To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of violence and intimidation of opposition politicians, their supporters, and trade unions, ahead of parliamentary and local by-elections in Zimbabwe on 26 March; and what steps they are taking in response.
2 March 2022
The UK remains concerned by the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. This includes a lack of accountability for human rights violations, including those responsible for the death of protestors in August 2018 and January 2019, at the hands of the security forces. We are also aware of recent reports of police brutality and efforts to frustrate the opposition's right to free assembly. While the UK welcomes steps to legislate for an Independent Complaints Commission, the test will be its ability to act independently and effectively.
We have been clear that we want to see the Government of Zimbabwe meet its international and domestic obligations by respecting the rule of law and safeguarding human rights. The Minister for Africa emphasised these messages when she spoke to President Mnangagwa on 1 November 2021 at COP26. Alongside significant development assistance to help ordinary Zimbabweans, we continue to support civil society organisations focused on human rights. On 1 February 2021, the UK imposed sanctions on four security officials responsible for some of Zimbabwe's worst human rights violations under the current regime. Our sanctions do not target, and seek to avoid impact on, the wider economy and people of Zimbabwe.