The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Dismisses Unintelligible EU Reports

Photo: IRIN
President Robert Mugabe.

ZANU-PF has dismissed as unintelligible reports that the European Union wanted to suspend illegal sanctions it imposed on Zimbabwe after the country met certain conditions.

The EU has indicated that it was preparing to suspend the economic embargo imposed on the country in 2002. European officials have told the Daily Telegraph recently that there was now an agreement to bring Zimbabwe "back in from the cold, but only if new conditions are met".

These include the publication of a new constitution, the adoption of human rights laws, a successful referendum and the conduct of free elections next year. The EU Commission's resolutions are expected to be made public in Brussels this month-end.

Zanu-PF negotiator and member of the Zimbabwe-EU re-engagement committee Cde Patrick Chinamasa said anything short of unconditional lifting of the embargo was not acceptable to Zimbabwe.

"We went to Brussels to demand unconditional lifting the sanctions because they are in the first place illegal. The EU sanctions just like the US sanctions have no basis in international law because they were not authorised by the UN Security Council," said Minister Chinamasa.

"Any suspension of the sanctions that is subject to any conditionality is a meaningless gesture and no one can be happy except those who sympathise with countries that imposed them. The way Zanu-PF read it is that they (sanctions) will be re-imposed if Zanu-PF win elections."

Cde Chinamasa said the EU wanted to hoodwink Zimbabweans to think that their gesture was out of goodwill yet it was clearly unintelligible.

He said conditional lifting of sanctions was not worthy efforts being made by the EU. Cde Chinamasa said the re-engagement team made it clear in Brussels that the EU had no role in supervising affairs of other sovereign states such as Zimbabwe.

"We made it very clear to Lady Aston that Zimbabwe is a sovereign state. The EU should not arrogate itself the role to supervise us.

"The current crop of leadership in Europe still consider themselves as colonial masters. What jurisdiction do they have over our nation?" said Cde Chinamasa.

Zimbabwe wants good relations with the EU, but the European bloc's attitude showed that it was not committed to that. "They are maintaining the same exploitative regime of their forefathers that we fought against," he said.

Cde Chinamasa said the EU was not being sincere on its approach towards the whole re-engagement process. He said the EU was now shifting goal posts because initially they said sanctions were imposed in protest over the land reform programme.

European diplomats told Western media that Britain was of the opinion that maintaining the embargo would affect its access to Zimbabwe's vast mineral resources.

The East has been making headway in getting lucrative deals as Government embarked on a successful Look East Policy. Attorney General Mr Johannes Tomana told The Sunday Mail that the Registrar of the General Court of the EU, Mr Emmanuel Coulon, has served the Council of the European Commission with papers to respond to the case, in which the Government chief legal advisor and 120 others are suing the bloc.

The EU has two months to respond to the case. Mr Coulon acknowledged that Harare had regularised its application and also confirmed papers have already been dispatched to the defendants.

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