23 January 2018

Zimbabwe: EU Ready to Review Ties With Zim, Says to Support ED Engage Foreign Lenders

Photo: The Namibian
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The European Union (EU) has endorsed President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration hoping that the new government was going to reform.

Mnangagwa toppled former President Robert Mugabe in November last year with the assistance of the military.

Mugabe was anti-west and had been under the EU sanctions since soon after the turn of the millennium for human rights violations during the controversial land reform and elections.

The agrarian reform exercise drove away former white commercial farmers from their land without compensation.

Mugabe was also unpopular in the west for a number of "anti-investment" laws implemented since 2000.

Taking over power from his "mentor" in November last year, President Mnangagwa promised to institute political and economic reforms.

Mnangagwa has also returned some farms to a few evicted white commercial farmers.

In a statement on Tuesday, following the general secretariat Monday Brussels high profile annual review meeting, EU head of delegation in Harare said the bloc was satisfied with Mnangagwa's actions so far.

"The on-going political transition in Zimbabwe creates high expectations among all Zimbabweans. It can open the way to a full return to the Rule of Law, within a constitutional framework and under civilian rule, allowing for the preparation and implementation of much needed political and economic reforms," read part of the EU statement.

"The EU reaffirms its availability to engage constructively with the new authorities including through a structured political dialogue, with political actors across the spectrum, and with civil society, on the basis of a mutual commitment to shared values focused on human rights, democratic principles and the Rule of Law. It will do so in coordination with African and international partners," said EU.

President Mnangagwa last week said he was going to welcome regional and international teams to observe elections due this year a development which the EU said was another plus for the new government.

"The upcoming electoral process will be an essential step and the EU welcomes the commitment of the authorities to hold these elections in line with the constitution, and underlines the importance that the conditions are in place to allow those elections to be peaceful, inclusive, credible and transparent.

"The EU would consider favourably electoral observation, provided that the required conditions are fulfilled and that an invitation from the Government of Zimbabwe is received," said the western bloc.

The EU also said it recognized efforts by President Mnangagwa to revive the country after a two decade long economic crisis.

"The EU welcomes the stated intention of the Zimbabwean authorities to deliver economic reforms in Zimbabwe, aiming at supporting job creation, growth and sustainable long-term development, and reaffirms its willingness to support the planning and implementation of much-needed structural changes and the promotion of good governance.

"In this context, the EU will support the authorities in establishing as soon as possible a constructive reengagement with international financial institutions based on a clear and time-bound economic and political reform programme. The EU stands ready to review the whole range of its policies towards Zimbabwe at any moment to take into account the progress achieved in the country," said EU.

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