More than 100 000 Zimbabweans live in UK


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More than 100 000 Zimbabweans are now living in the United Kingdom and they should have a say on whether Zimbabwe is readmitted to the Commonwealth, a British legislator suggested yesterday.

Ruth Jones, who wanted to know whether there had been any recent discussions on Zimbabwe’s readmission to the Commonwealth, asked Foreign and Commonwealth Minister Andrew Mitchell what discussions he had had with Zimbabweans in the diaspora about their views on Zimbabwe’s readmission to the Commonwealth and other issues.

Mitchell said his office hears the views of Zimbabweans many times.

Q & A:

Ruth Jones Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs): (To ask Foreign and Commonwealth Minister)Whether he has had recent discussions with his Commonwealth counterparts on the proposed readmittance of Zimbabwe to the Commonwealth.

Andrew Mitchell Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development and Africa):  I regularly discuss a broad range of issues, including Zimbabwe, with Commonwealth counterparts, most recently on Sunday in Dubai when I met the Commonwealth secretary-general, Baroness Scotland. The decision on re-entry is for all members, based on the membership requirements and the values and principles set out in the Commonwealth charter.

Ruth Jones Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs): Given the recent enlargement of the Commonwealth, the matters that the Minister referred to are important. More than 100,000 Zimbabweans live in the UK, many in south Wales, and thousands work all year round in our NHS. What engagement has the Minister had with the Zimbabwean diaspora to understand the diversity of perspectives and to support their views about Commonwealth membership and other challenges and issues that they face?

Andrew Mitchell Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development and Africa):  The hon. Lady is right that Zimbabwe has a productive and vibrant diaspora in the United Kingdom, and we hear their views many times. Britain warned that the election needed to be violence-free and fair, and it was certainly violence-free. We are waiting for the full report of the observers before making a judgment on further events.

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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