BRITAIN desperately tried to hijack a briefing to the United Nations Security Council on the food situation in the Sadc region to attack Zimbabwe on Thursday and get it on the agenda of the world body.
Zimbabwe's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York Ambassador Boniface Chidyausiku told The Herald in a telephone interview that Britain tried to use the briefing by UN envoy on humanitarian issues Mr James Morris to the Security Council on the food situation in Sadc to demonise Zimbabwe but without success.
He said although five other members of the Security Council — Denmark, Greece, the United States, Romania and France — expressed concern over Zimbabwe, Britain was more rabid in its criticism.
"The UK was more rabid than the others and was just trying to make political capital out of the briefing," said Ambassador Chidyausiku.
He said London even went further and claimed that the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe would worsen as a result of the clean-up operation.
But other Security Council members, notably Tanzania, objected to this saying the figures Britain was submitting on the clean-up operation could not be authenticated because a special envoy of the UN secretary-general Mr Kofi Annan, Mrs Anna Kajumalo Tibaijuka, was still in Zimbabwe assessing the operation.
Ambassador Chidyausiku said the comments by Britain were just part of its onslaught against Zimbabwe because the briefing by Mr Morris focussed on all the Sadc countries affected by drought and not Harare alone.
Mr Morris' briefing also touched on Malawi, Lesotho and Zambia.
But London chose to zero in on Zimbabwe in its desperate bid to get Harare put on the agenda of the Security Council claiming that the situation in Zimbabwe was worse because of the political situation in the country.
Ambassador Chidyausiku said Mr Morris clearly told the Security Council that in the case of Zimbabwe, President Mugabe and the Government assured him during his visit that the Government was importing grain to meet the food requirements.
Mr Morris said he was also assured the food including that from the organisation he heads, the World Food Programme, was being distributed according to need and in a fair manner.
He also told the meeting that President Mugabe and the Zimbabwe Government told him that providing food aid was the primary responsibility of the State although donors were welcome to assist.
Mr Morris informed the Security Council that four million people in Zimbabwe were in need of food aid although figures released by Government show that 1,5 million people need assistance.
Ambassador Chidyausiku said the attempt by Britain to get Zimbabwe on the Security Council agenda was futile.
"The ultimate aim was to get Zimbabwe discussed in the Security Council but Mr Morris' brief was just a general brief. It does not require UN action on Zimbabwe.
"They (Britain) will not stop trying but at the moment Zimbabwe is not a failed state. We are solid and we are meeting our responsibilities as a Government. We are feeding our people and cleaning up our cities, programmes which are all within the ambit of our responsibility as a Government," Ambassador Chidyausiku said.
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