Harare – Britain's ambassador to Zimbabwe has denied claims that her government is secretly supporting President Robert Mugabe's regime, according to a report on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe's privately-owned NewsDay quoted Catriona Laing as saying that the United Kingdom would not give money to Mugabe's regime until it introduced key administrative reforms.
These included good governance, an end to police brutality and respect for court orders.
"No United Kingdom taxpayers' money has been or will be used to fund the government of Zimbabwe. Any decision on future UK support for a multi-year International Monetary Fund programme will be based on the considerations described above," Laing was quoted as saying.
The British government had reportedly been pushing a package to pay off $1.8bn in arrears to multilateral donors, which would allow Zimbabwe to take out emergency IMF loans.
According to an article by Ian Birrell published on Nehanda Radio, British diplomats and officials in the department for international development were behind this. They apparently favoured stability over respect for human rights or support for opposition figures fighting a brutal regime.