The outgoing British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr. Mark Canning, has maintained that the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Britain and her allies are justified, but says that the European Union has agreed to review the embargo regularly instead of annually because of the stability currently obtaining in the country.
ÂMr. Canning made the remarks after bidding farewell to Vice President John Landa Nkomo, after a two and a half year tour of diplomatic duty.
In a typical British snobbishness, Mr. Canning, who was accompanied by his deputy Mr. Tim Cole, refused to acknowledge that Zimbabwe has been slapped with illegal sanctions preferring to call them restrictive measures.
He however admitted the EU is currently reviewing the conditions of the embargo.
Mr. Canningâ€™s attitude however dramatically changed when he started explaining how he worked with the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in the 80â€™s and assisted in the training of the military forces under Mozambiqueâ€™s FRELIMO government.
He reflected on fond memories of that era, and claimed that he is so passionate about Zimbabwe.
â€œI love Zimbabwe. Iâ€™m passionate about Zimbabwe. I love the people. Zimbabweans have shown that they are very resilient,â€ he said.
Zimbabweâ€™s relations with Britain, which were cordial soon after independence, took a nose dive when the Labour Party under the leadership of Tony Blair took power in Britain in 1996.
The Labour Party refused to honour the pledges made by their Conservatives counterparts and claimed they had no obligation to provide funding to buy land from white farmers who had benefitted under the colonial system.
When the country embarked on the land reform programme to correct the colonial imbalance, Britain retaliated by mobilising other European nations and the US to punish Zimbabwe by imposing illegal sanctions.