§ Sir Peter Emery
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take an initiative to seek to persuade the Government of Zimbabwe to transfer to British citizens who have left Zimbabwe to return to Britain the annual interest payments on their investments currently blocked by the Zimbabwean Government; and if he will seek to establish a schedule of repayment of these funds and investments which gives priority in repayment to the needs of those who are aged and those who have only small amounts requiring repayment.
§ Mrs. Chalker
Since March 1984 individual holders of assets blocked in Zimbabwe have been able to purchase Government of Zimbabwe 4 per cent. external bonds, which permit the remittance of capital, with interest, over a 12-year period.
The Zimbabwean authorities have also made special provisions for holders of blocked funds who are elderly, sick or suffering other exceptional hardship. They are well aware of our concern that those in the greatest need should receive special attention. My right hon. and learned Friend last discussed this matter with the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister in February.