EU eases Zimbabwe sanctions but keeps them on #mugabe

via EU eases Zimbabwe sanctions but keeps them on Mugabe Mail & Guardian 17 FEB 2014 by Adrian Croft

The European Union suspended sanctions on eight of Zimbabwe’s most powerful military and political figures on Monday, but kept them on President Robert Mugabe and his wife, in a cautious easing of policy after last year’s disputed elections.

The 28-nation EU, which imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002 in protest at human rights abuses and violations of democracy under Mugabe, has gradually eased sanctions over the last few years to encourage political reform.

Another decision, to be taken by ministers on Tuesday, is expected to pave the way for the EU to resume channelling development aid directly to the Zimbabwe government from 2015 after years in which the bloc shunned the government and worked with charities.

The EU’s concessions were dismissed by Rugare Gumbo, a spokesperson for Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, who told Reuters in Harare: “This is all nonsensical, we don’t accept these half measures. We want total and irrevocable removal of sanctions.”

“They cannot keep the president on the sanctions list, what has Mugabe done? We have said we are open to talking to the EU but they have to remove those sanctions, they are hurting our people,” he said.

Mugabe, who turns 90 on Friday, has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980. He has frequently clashed with the West over his policies and accused the United States and Britain in a speech to the United Nations last September of trying to control his nation and its resources.

EU states were divided in their response when Mugabe won a fifth term as president in an election last July that was endorsed as free by African observers but denounced as fraudulent by the opposition.

After a review, EU governments have decided to stick to their carrot-and-stick policy of gradual easing of sanctions with the aim of encouraging positive change in Zimbabwe while retaining some leverage over Mugabe to pursue reforms.

The EU decided on Monday to keep Mugabe and his wife Grace under an asset freeze and a ban on travelling to the EU for another year.

The bloc is retaining an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and sanctions on arms supplier Zimbabwe Defence Industries. But sanctions, which are reviewed annually, were suspended on the eight senior Zimbabwe officials who remained on the EU’s list, EU sources said.

They include Constantine Chiwenga, commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, army commander Phillip Valerio Sibanda, Air Force commander Perence Shiri, intelligence chief Happyton Bonyongwe, police chief Augustine Chihuri and Didymus Mutasa, minister of state for presidential affairs.

The EU has held out an olive branch to Mugabe by inviting him to take part in an EU-Africa summit in Brussels in April and granting him an exemption from sanctions to visit Europe.

Mugabe took part in EU-Africa summits in Tripoli in 2010 and Lisbon in 2007, although his presence at the Lisbon summit prompted a boycott by then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The United States said after last July’s Zimbabwe election that the vote was flawed and it did not plan to loosen its sanctions against Mugabe’s government until there were signs of change in the country. – Reuters



  • comment-avatar
    Peter tosh 9 years ago

    Rugare gumbo this moron,always defending the indefensible, cho what a fool you egg shaped head.

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    roving ambassador. 9 years ago

    They are hurting our people . Gumbo you and the whole bunch zanu bullies are hurting the nation. You can say to hell with the EU, but the moment you boss gets a hess to go, he will be on the first plane to europe. He cannot resist spending the stollen billions.

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    revenger-avenger big boss 9 years ago

    eu has lost its way again. sanctions topic so boring irrelevant

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    Nesbert majoni 9 years ago

    He must die with the sanctions still in place because he is cruel to his own country man

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    Kubota Binga 9 years ago

    The EU is greater than your hatred for your country and countrymen.

    I welcome the lift of sanctions, if it was just at individuals, I wonder if the EU would be doing a thing at all. Santions are there and they hurt you and me. You cry to be hurt even more coz Mugabe is in power??? This is madness at its worst!!

    I hope for sanction-free Zimbabwe!!

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    John Thomas 9 years ago

    Any money channeled through the government is lost. It would be more efficient to pay the corrupt persons directly. This is the EU policy? Fund corruption in the Zimbabwe government. The government does not have the capacity to use funds for the benefit of the population at large and it is unlikely to develop this capacity any time soon as it is set on a trajectory in the opposite direction.

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    Doris 9 years ago

    Good-o!!! Now we can follow them all the way to their foreign bank accounts and demand retribution for the atrocities each and every one of them has committed. A bit like what they did in Zambia actually.

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    the eu has lost the plot completely. channelling money to zanu is just like throwing it into save river to flow to the indian ocean. if they think that investors will now invest in zim with the stupid indigenization laws they are day-dreaming. I see a plot to loot diamonds with zanu here. have the generals stopped abusing human rights? aren’t they scared of the rampant looting taking place now to want to prop up this rag-tag regime with crispy euros into its coffers? pamunhu mutema nhammo haiperi!

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    This is even silly. Banning Mugabe but allowing Perence Shiri the Gukurahundi cannibal. These imperialists are desperate. Just confused sons of slave traders forever possessed by demons of oppressing blacks. Infact how is Mugabe banned when all his men and women can go and do whatever they want in any European country on his behalf? What will this achieve really?

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    Mugabe must step down! lain and simple! New elections must be called for! Nothing less!

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    masvukupete 9 years ago

    Old people have a natural tendency to go against natural change. Chandagwinyira shavi rebenzi. Good leadership should be dynamic and sacrifice their own comforts for the benefit of the leadees (sic). As long as these old people are in charge we will be stuck on any one issue for long periods of time (its the old people’s nature). Instead of being dynamic and solving the sanctions problem once and for all, we have been stuck with the issue for more than 10 years. Zanu and its old people have dismally failed to move the country forward. We are still stuck to where we were in 2000, actually we are worse off. We will be here or backward in 2018 and beyond as long as Zanu is in power.

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    Zvakwana 9 years ago

    Since when have zpf been concerned about the people its always been about the pocket.

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    moyokumusha 9 years ago

    Something is up guys, the rats are abandoning the sinking ship and leaving the captain and his ass lickers to sink.

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    Guest 001 9 years ago

    Don’t worry. The EU sanctions were not effective in the first place. The most effective are the US sanctions which have not been removed anyway.