ZIMBABWE – The British High Commission has responded to former President Thabo Mbeki’s claims the United Kingdom wanted to invade Zimbabwe, by saying that the country’s future is for the people of Zimbabwe to decide.
Yesterday, Mbeki wrote in an online newsletter that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair wanted to send soldiers to Zimbabwe to effect regime change before elections there in 2002.
Mbeki first made the claims in an interview in 2013.
The former president says former Intelligence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was told directly by governments in London and Washington that there were western plans to overthrow President Robert Mugabe.
He then quotes from an interview with former British Defence Staff Chief Charles Guthrie, who claimed Blair discussed invading Zimbabwe with him.
Mbeki says Blair has been quoted as saying, ‘If it were down to me, I’d do Zimbabwe as well – that is – send troops.”
He also says Guthrie has confirmed that Blair asked him about invading Zimbabwe.
Mbeki says he knew first-hand about these plans because Sisulu was told directly about them by the British government.
Mbeki also claims it was his opposition to these plans that led to the strong criticism of his policy of quiet diplomacy.