By Anna Chibamu
FOREIGN Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo, who was last week the target of a violent attack by suspected MDC supporters in London, has dismissed this as “water throwing” that will not affect his quest to mend Zimbabwe’s relations with the former colonial master.
Moyo told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, Monday that he has met with new British Premier Boris Johnson then as Foreign Secretary.
“Never mind about the water throwing at me,” said Moyo, a retired general famed for announcing the military coup that deposed former President Robert Mugabe in November 2017.
With Zimbabwe’s economic fortunes faltering, Moyo’s presence in London riled opposition groups whose members pounced on him as he left British think-tank Chatham House, pouring water on the Cabinet Minister.
The attack attracted anger from authorities in Harare with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government demanding the arrest of the perpetrators.
But Moyo seems to have taken it in his stride and indicates he will not be distracted.
There are claims that Britain and China had a hand in the coup that brought to an end Mugabe’s 37 year iron fisted rule in Zimbabwe although both countries have denied any links.
While relations between Mugabe and Britain were frosty for the better part of his last two decades in power, Mnangagwa seems to have been granted a soft landing with Ministers from both governments constantly shuttling between London and Harare.
Mnangagwa has also applied for re-admission to the Commonwealth a club of mainly former British colonies.
And Moyo suggested everything was on course for a normalisation of relations between Harare and London despite a change of guard at 10 Downing Street the seat of British power.
“The response (from Britain) has been encouraging. British Ministers have visited Zimbabwe. I have met some of them and even the President (Mnangagwa) has met them,” Moyo told members of the committee chaired by Zanu PF MP, Kindness Paradza.
MDC vice president Tendai Biti in particular has been very critical of Britain’s policy towards Zimbabwe especially after Mnangagwa’s rise to power.
Biti constantly clashed with former British envoy to Harare Catriona Liang who he accused of having been the conduit in abating the 2017 military overthrow of Mugabe.