British Defence Minister Gavin Williamson, who was fired by Prime Minister Theresa May last week, wanted to invade Zimbabwe on the pretext of promoting peacekeeping and protection of wild animals, a British newspaper said today.
The Sunday Times today said it had received a National Security Council document showing that Williamson was determined to send British troops into action in Africa.
The paper said he ordered military chiefs to draw up plans for intervention by the armed forces in at least five African countries, including Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt.
Ministry of Defence officials said Williamson’s approach was to “find excuses to send troops”.
“He wanted to invade Africa,” a military source said.
“He made it clear that he was keen to send the troops in.” the paper said.
The paper did not say when Williamson wanted to deploy the troops but he was appointed Defence Minister on 2 November 2017, three weeks before President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in.
The British government welcomed Mnangagwa’s rise to power and sent a junior minister to his inauguration but relations began to sour after the 1 August violence in which the military killed six people, two days after the country’s harmonised elections.
Williamson was fired on 1 May.