Julian Braithwaite, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and United Nations (UN) gave the condition that meaningful cooperation could only come after Zimbabwe has implemented economic and political reforms.
The Zimbabwean delegates were told this at the Geneva Trade Policy Review last week.
Braithwaite stated, “Meaningful progress on reforms, along with respect for human rights and the rule of law, is the only way to sustainably deal with Zimbabwe’s underlying challenges, unlock significant investment and bring about a better future for Zimbabwe and its people
“As noted in the reports prepared for this review, corruption continues to hamper Zimbabwe’s development by capturing public and private resources, distorting economic decision-making and undermining governance and accountability.
“We continue to urge Zimbabwe to guarantee the independence of the Anti-Corruption Commission and the courts.”
Meanwhile, Braithwaite praised Zimbabwe for its effort in trying to resolve the land disputes that stemmed from the infamous land reform program and for controlling the runaway exchange rate and said:
“We welcome the Zimbabwe government’s commitments to resolving outstanding land issues.
“We (however) encourage Zimbabwe to take credible steps to ensure the viability and security of tenure in the 99-year leases, stop further farm invasions, ensure continued progress on compensation and guarantee respect for court decisions on property rights disputes
“We hope that this can help remove exchange rate distortions that enable rent‑seeking behaviour in the economy and create barriers to international investors repatriating their returns on investment.
To reinforce Braithwaite condition, some international money lenders including the world superpower the United States Of America have also said cooperation will only come after meaningful political and economic reforms.