Johnson: UK support for Zim linked to democratic progress

Britain could take steps to stabilise Zimbabwe’s currency system, but Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says such support depends on 'democratic progress'.

FILE: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Picture: AFP.

ABIDJAN - Britain could take steps to stabilise Zimbabwe’s currency system and extend a bridging loan to help it clear World Bank and African Development Bank arrears, but such support depends on “democratic progress”, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said.

“Those are indeed the things that we would try to do to help Zimbabwe forward, but we’ve got to see how the democratic process unfolds,” he said on Wednesday on the sidelines of an African Union-EU summit in Abidjan.

Zimbabwe is due to hold elections next year.

MUGABE IS GONE

Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule may be over, but a culture of political fawning by the Zimbabwean state media and fear of those in authority still flourishes.

_The Herald _newspaper and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation - state and ruling Zanu-PF party mouthpieces - routinely heaped lavish praise on the 93-year-old Mugabe and his wife Grace in sycophantic articles and commentaries.

With the sudden change of guard, Zimbabwe’s official media is having a hard time shaking off old habits and is now tailoring its eulogies to fit Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s successor.

State radio intersperses programmes with martial music from the war of independence in honour of Mnangagwa’s war veteran allies and the army.

Mnangagwa, 75, a close Mugabe ally for several decades, took power after the military takeover on 15 November following a succession battle that split the ruling Zanu-PF party.