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Dual-Use Exports (Zimbabwe)

Volume 403: debated on Wednesday 9 April 2003

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
(Mr. Bill Rammell)

The Government have approved the export to Zimbabwe of a Travelling Wave Tube (TWT) which has been repaired in the UK. A TWT is radar equipment used for air traffic control.The export licence was initially rejected because the TWT appeared on the military list. Its export would therefore have contravened the EU Arms Embargo on Zimbabwe.The TWT has since been modified so that it is no longer suitable for military use. As a result, DTI Technologies Unit re-rated the TWT making it now a dual-use good.The decision to overturn the original rejection was made after discussion with Export Control section of Defence Intelligence Service. They have established that the equipment is for use at Bulawayo and Harare airports. There is no Zimbabwe air force facility at Bulawayo. There is one near the civil airport in Harare, but the military have their own radar. We are therefore satisfied that the TWT is for civilian use only.This decision underlines our policy that targeted sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe should not affect the lives of ordinary people unconnected with the Mugabe regime.