Elita Chikwati, Harare Bureau
Government has summoned the Charge de Affairs of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, over the assault on Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo and his delegation in London last week during the re-engagement programme to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
Government has also called for the perpetrators to be brought to book.
Minister Moyo was on a four day re-engagement programme to strengthen bilateral relations and to woo investment into the country.
He also attended the Global Conference for Media Freedom.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade acting permanent secretary, Ambassador Pavelyn Musaka yesterday said Government was concerned about the incident.
“Our Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Charge de Affairs of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Mr Giles Enticknap to register our Government’s protest against the assault on Minister Moyo and his Zimbabwe delegation to the Global Conference for Media Freedom co-ordinated by government of the United Kingdom.
“As organisers of the event, it was incumbent upon the Government of the UK to assess the threat level for all dignitaries and to provide under cover security details to protect Honourable Minister Moyo in the event of any unforeseen security situations arising.
“The Ministry wishes to inform our compatriots, members of the public that while Government of Zimbabwe respects the rights to freedom and the rights of its citizens to demonstrate peacefully as part of the democratic process be it here in Zimbabwe, in the UK or any part of the world that our delegations are invited to visit whether in their official capacity or in the personal capacities it objects to the assaults on Minister Moyo as head of the Zimbabwean delegation.”
She said the protesters’ actions were a violation of laws of both the UK and international laws regarding the protections of person of Minister Moyo’s stature.
“The Ministry therefore calls for the government of UK to take all measures necessary to bring the perpetrators of the violence against the Minister to book for their actions,” she said.
During his visit, Minister Moyo had lunch with the powerful Westminster Africa Business Group in London which brought together politicians and businesses in the interests and invited them to grab investment opportunities that abound in Zimbabwe.
Minister Moyo explained the various investment opportunities in mining, tourism and agriculture, ready to be exploited by shrewd investors seeking to grow their portfolios in a win-win situation.