27 July 2014

Zimbabwe: EU to Review Mugabe Sanctions Next Year

The European Union has expressed mixed feelings over political developments in Zimbabwe at a time the continental bloc is in the process of assessing chances of resuming direct cooperation with the Zimbabwean government in November.

The EU also said it would review its position on targeted measures against President Robert Mugabe and the First Lady, Grace in February next year.

"The decision in November does not refer to the restrictive measures against individuals and corporations," said EU Head of Delegation to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell'Ariccia. "It refers only to resuming direct cooperation with the government of Zimbabwe.

The EU imposed targeted measures against President Robert Mugabe and his inner cabal in 2002 accusing them of gross human rights violations.

However, the bloc removed targeted measures on the remaining eight of Mugabe's lieutenants who included service chiefs and minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Didymus Mutasa in February.

This left only Mugabe and the First Lady as well as the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) on the targeted measures list.

The continental bloc said that restoration of democracy and respect for human rights were pre-requisites for the removal of the targeted measures.

After the removal of the targeted measures, the EU said it would resume direct cooperation with the Zimbabwean government basing on developments obtaining in the country.

Dell'Ariccia said that the EUhad been recording good as well as bad news from their assessment of events obtaining in the country.

"As always, there is good news and there is also bad news. The good news for example has been the fact that the piece of legislation that was being used to punish journalists has been repealed," he said.

"On the other hand, there are many important decisions that are yet to be taken and as a result, the economy remains in a bad shape."

He said government should fulfil its commitment to implement people's wishes as enshrined in the new constitution.

"The process of alignment of the national legislation to the constitution of Zimbabwe is very slow. It should move faster ".

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