AFRICANGLOBE – The European Union yesterday renewed for another year its illegal sanctions on President Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, a development analysts said destroyed the confidence that was beginning to develop between Zimbabwe and the bloc.
The analysts also said the maintenance of sanctions on the First Family was “great contempt” for the people of Zimbabwe and Africa.
According to a notice in the EU’s official journal yesterday, the illegal sanctions would be maintained until February 20, 2016 and the decision was arrived at after “taking into account political developments in Zimbabwe”.
One entity, the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (Pvt) Ltd, remained on the embargo list.
“The application of the travel ban and asset freeze should be maintained for two persons and one entity,” read the notice.
“The suspension shall be reviewed every three months.
“This decision shall be kept under constant review and shall be extended, or amended as appropriate, if the council deems that its objectives have not been met.”
Five deceased persons – Cdes Edward Chindori-Chininga, Mike Karakadzai, Stanely Sakupwanya, Nathan Shamuyarira and Mr Lovemore Sekeramayi – were removed from the list.
Political analyst Mr Christopher Gwatidzo said the EU had undermined the confidence that was beginning to develop between the 28-member bloc and Zimbabwe.
“Considering the delegations from European countries that have been frequenting the country, it is now clear that these guys are not sincere when it comes to re-engagement,” he said.
“As we extend our hands for re-engagement, the EU should respect us, they should respect the Sadc region and the African Union which have chosen President Mugabe to be their leader.
“They need to be guided by that. We remain focused, but by now one would have thought that sanctions would be removed totally. We still demand their unconditional lifting on our leader.”
Mr Gwatidzo added: “It is, however, clear that some countries, if not only one, are being arrogant and trying to defeat reality, but the truth of the matter is sanctions do not serve the EU and the people of Zimbabwe.”
European countries, especially those sitting on the fence, had started warming up to Zimbabwe’s vast investment opportunities with several delegations from France, Britain and Denmark coming into the country in the past months.
Delegations from Germany and Belgian companies will be visiting Zimbabwe in April. Just this week, the European Union and Government inked a $270 million development assistance deal, money which would now come through Treasury for the first time since 2002.
Another political analyst, Mr Alexander Rusero, said the EU’s stance was a misguided diplomatic approach and an “inordinate” contempt of the African continent.
“This is great disdain because this man (President Mugabe) was chosen by the people in the 2013 harmonised elections, went on to be given the Sadc chairmanship and most recently assumed the chairmanship of the AU,” he said.
“How can you say Mugabe might be free to come here on AU business, but he should not come as a Zimbabwean leader? That is imprudent because you can channel development to a government yet you do not like its leader. They should simply accept that President Mugabe is in charge.”
Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said the ball was in the EU’s court because President Mugabe’s empowerment drive was “spreading like veld fire” across the African continent.
By: Felex Share
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