BRITAIN has filed an application for an intervenor in a case in which Zimbabwe is suing the European Union for imposing illegal sanctions against it.
This confirms President Mugabe's usual statement that the dispute between Harare and London is bilateral.
Britain filed the intervenor application after realising that Zimbabwe had not cited it in its lawsuit against the EU filed in the General Court of the European Court of Justice.
Attorney-General Mr Johannes Tomana confirmed the move by the former coloniser yesterday.
"The UK has intervened saying it has personal interests in the case although we did not cite them in our court papers," said Mr Tomana.
"They have filed an intervenor application and this is confirmation of what the President has always said that the issue between Zimbabwe and the UK is a bilateral matter."
An intervenor is made by someone with substantial interests in a case filed before a court of law.
Such a party can obtain the court's permission to enter into a lawsuit which has already started between other parties and to file a complaint stating the basis for a claim in the existing lawsuit.
Such intervention is only allowed if the party intending to enter into the case will not unduly prejudice the ability of the original parties to the lawsuit in conducting their case.
The EU had up to yesterday to respond to Zimbabwe's lawsuit.
The Herald is reliably informed that the European Council has since filed its response while the European Commission should have responded by next Monday. Zimbabwe contends that the imposition and continued existence of sanctions is a travesty of international law since the United Nations did not approve of them.
It is challenging circumstances where a regional bloc (EU) is allowed to abuse the UN Charter by unilaterally imposing illegal sanctions against another country.
When it imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, the EU did not communi- cate its decision to people and companies on the sanctions list as dictated by Article (2) of the Council Deci-sion.
EU sanctions followed Government's decision and subsequent acquisition of commercial white-held farms in 2000 after the Tony Blair regime refused to fund the land redistribution programme, deviating from a pledge made by his Tory predecessors.
In July this year, the EU extended the sanctions it imposed on Zimbabwe by another 12 months.
This is despite calls for their unconditional removal by Sadc, the African Union and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and the Non-Aligned Movement, among other global players.
In extending the embargo that has affected ordinary Zimbabweans, the EU said it would consider reviewing its position after the country holds a referendum on the envisaged new constitution.
Justifying the extension of the illegal sanctions, the 27-member grouping said: "The EU agrees that a peaceful and credible constitutional referendum would represent a milestone in the preparation of
democratic elections that would justify a suspension of the majority of all EU targeted restrictive measures against individuals and entities."