Former British minister for Africa Rory Stewart has disclosed the British government’s involvement in the ousting of President Robert Mugabe in 2017.

In his memoir, “Politics On the Edge—A Memoir From Within,” Stewart reveals that Britain viewed Mugabe’s removal as an opportunity to reshape Zimbabwe’s foreign policy in its favor.

Stewart’s firsthand account offers insights into the turbulent moments surrounding Mugabe’s downfall, particularly from the British perspective.

He highlights the role of then-British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Laing, who advocated for supporting Emerson Mnangagwa as a pragmatic leader capable of bringing positive change to the country.

Despite warnings about Mnangagwa’s history of human rights violations and corruption, Laing persisted in her support, even rejecting the idea of setting conditions for backing Mnangagwa.

Stewart underscores the British Foreign Office’s reluctance to challenge Zimbabwe’s existing status quo.

Despite his doubts about Mnangagwa’s commitment to reforms, Stewart became the first foreign minister to meet with him after the coup, emphasizing the importance of credible elections and inclusive policies.

However, Mnangagwa’s subsequent actions, such as deploying soldiers to suppress dissent, dashed hopes for meaningful change.

Stewart reflects on the aftermath, expressing disappointment in the British system’s failure to bring about positive change in Zimbabwe, as Mnangagwa’s regime reverted to authoritarianism and economic instability.

Despite the revelations in Stewart’s memoir, Ambassador Laing has yet to acknowledge any misjudgments regarding Mnangagwa’s intentions.

Stewart’s book offers a critical analysis of Britain’s role in Zimbabwe’s political upheaval, highlighting the complexities and consequences of foreign intervention in African affairs.