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Zimbabwe: Politics and Government

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the most recent power-sharing agreement between Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change on the political situation in Zimbabwe. (254516)

On 30 January, the Movement for Democratic Change announced the acceptance of the power sharing accord brokered at the Southern African Development Community summit on 26 January. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary issued a statement in response on 30 January, which can be viewed at:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/newsroom/latest-news/? view=News&id=13022532

We are cautious about the workability of the agreement. But we have also been clear that it is up to Zimbabweans to decide their own future. Our hope is that the parties can make it work and we will judge the new government on its actions. In common with other members of the international community, we will be looking for the government to demonstrate, through its actions, a commitment to reform. We would expect in the coming weeks to see the release of political prisoners, an immediate end to political violence and intimidation, the repeal of repressive legislation, the appointment of a credible finance team and a clear roadmap to the next national elections. Our formal engagement, including the provision of donor support, will depend on how the new government meets these expectations.