Melanie Robinson, Outgoing United Kingdom ambassador
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British envoy commends Zim for peaceful polls

OUTGOING British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson has commended the country for holding peaceful general elections recently.

In remarks at Zimbabwe State House where she had gone to bid President Emmerson Mnangagwa farewell, Robinson on Friday said she had discussed the recent general elections in Zimbabwe and commended Zimbabweans for their resilience and patience in the face of challenges such as delays in the opening of some polling stations and peacefulness of the elections.

“I did have the opportunity to raise some of the concerns that were raised, the issues around transparency of Zec, the level playing field, reports of intimidation of voters and the issues around local observers not being able to do their work and we were able to discuss that,” she said.

Robinson said she had taken the opportunity with Mnangagwa to reflect on her tour of duty during which she invited the latter to King Charles’ coronation in London, England, in May with that milestone being a sign that the United Kingdom is keen on dialogue.

“We also talked about re-engagement and I reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to seeing Zimbabwe succeed, to seeing Zimbabwe continue to go down the path of being more peaceful, prosperous, democratic and the desire of the UK to walk with Zimbabwe on that path,” she said.

“We want to talk, where we disagree, we want to be able to discuss that openly, freely and where we agree, we must also have the same so it was a signal about our desire to dialogue and to continue that dialogue.”

 She said she was going on a sabbatical from government for a few years to head a global climates team in Nairobi, Kenya. Robinson is due to be replaced by Peter Vowles who accompanied her to State House. — New Ziana

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