EU legislator comments on lifting of restrictive measures

via EU legislator comments on lifting of restrictive measures | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo on Thursday, February 20, 2014 

A Member of the European Parliament has voiced concern over the decision by western powers to ease restrictive measures against Robert Mugabe’s key allies.

Geoffrey Van Orden, a prominent campaigner for freedom and democratic change in Zimbabwe within the European Parliament, commented on the EU measures and said: “There has been some movement in the right direction over the past year and this needs to be reinforced. However, there are still hundreds of incidents of human rights abuse each year and political freedom is constrained.

“The most recent elections were widely recognised as having been neither wholly democratic nor credible – despite being conducted in a relatively peaceful manner,” Van Orden said in a statement.

The MEP, who is banned from entering Zimbabwe, also criticised the EU’s decision to invite Mugabe to Brussels for the EU-Africa Summit in April.

He indicated that Mugabe should remain isolated, saying “real progress in Zimbabwe will not be made until Mugabe and those that hold on to his coat-tails have left power”.

Political analyst Joy Mabenge said the western bloc should use Mugabe’s present in Brussels to push him for more reforms.

“Like many Zimbabweans I believe the lifting of the targeted sanctions has more to do with the western powers’ economic interests rather than a belief that the ZANU PF government has improved anything on the ground,” Mabenge said.

On Thursday, rights campaigners the Zim Human Rights NGO Forum, said they were concerned about the EU’s plans to start channelling development aid directly through the ZANU PF government, from November 1st.

The group said there were worries within civil society organisations that the Zim government may use this to begin recriminations against the CSOs.

Mabenge said there was also the danger that millions of suffering Zimbabweans, who are currently reliant on donors for their survival, will be affected.

“The Zimbabwe government has proved to everyone that it cannot manage public finances let alone donor funding.

“The current corruption scandals prove the economy has collapsed, and there are absolutely no guarantees or measures in place to suggest that development aid will benefit deserving Zimbabweans,” Mabenge said.


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    dennis chikuve 8 years ago

    Both our politicians and CSOs have hidden agendas. They say when elephants fight, the grass suffers. Zimbabwe needs renewed leadership with no excess baggage in order to progress unhindered. At the moment the ordinary, honest, resilient hardworking citizens; not the elite, continue to be between a rock and a hard place. Trust in politicians or so called “knights in shining armor” has been eroded and compromised.

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    Khaya'bonina 8 years ago

    To repeat my daily words . sanctions have never affected Mugabe and his allies so there is no point why they must continue , it is good that they should be completely uplifted .People who have got love for our country will understand my point as these sanctions affected us the disadvantaged people on the grass roots . This Owen doesn’t have love about the people of Zimbabwe , he doesn’t care about us . According to him Mugabe must be isolated , how do we simple and just isolate the trouble causer ??? HOW ???. The trouble some Mugabe must be confronted with questions by the world and lined up appropriatly.

    I am an oppoistion to Mugabe and ZANU PF but i would love to see our country going forward for the better of our future , ZANU PF had be so much giving excusses to us that their failing is resulted by the sanctions , what is the next excuss to us now , lets wait and see .The uplifting of sanctions is not only for the government of ZANU PF in power today but it is soley for us to progress and even the future government after 2018 elections will progress well without any obstacles coming from these sanctions .

    Mugabe is now history lets forget about him and be more creative , more innovative to take this country , Owen is fighting against Mugabe , but he must not loose direction and end up affecting the entire Zimbabweans , we are also against Mugabe and ZANU PF but we need to be a bit wise and not end up stabbing ourselves , lets fight in a very constructive way , lets show the world that we love our country and we need to progress . MDC T , ZUNDE, ZAPU , Mkhwanazi etc anyone of these parties can take over from ZANU PF and the first point would be to negotiate about the completely uplifting of the sanctions , so that would be another excuss and wast of time instead of providing the needed services to the people , so better these sanctions be uplifted now .

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      spiralx 8 years ago

      Unfortunately, 35 years of ZANU criminal activity has produced a generation which knows no other way to operate.

      Even if Mugabe was history, there is still an entire misdirected clique hanging onto power, and passing that down to the next generation.

      It will take a long and painful effort to rehabilitate a severely damaged country…

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      With or without sanctions will always invent new scape goats. Sanctions have bn there since 2002, when they were imposed zpf dismissed them as a non event nd of no use cos they have all weather friends in e East. Zpf even imposed its own retaliatory sanctions bt still e economies of those countries ar still strong. These same sanctions were still there during e gnu era bt life was better. After e gnu w e same sanctions in place bt life is becoming tough. Remember during e gnu zpf blamed Biti not increasing civil servants salaries n not supporting agric bt w Biti out still they can’t help matters

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    Charles Chamunorwa 8 years ago

    Mugabe should be isolated. At least we will save a lot of money. Otherwise without ristrictions he will be in the sky daily for shopping gobbling $500 000.00 per each single trip.

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    Khaya'bonina 8 years ago

    The point is that we need to go forward without these sanctions , why must they stay for what good reason , the stigma for these sanctions is not conjusive for business , westerns must find other means to engage or fight against Mugabe sanctions have never worked , thats a wrong tool which is indirectly affecting the economy and the people of Zimbabwe.

    Really Zimbabweans will agree with me, those how have turned to be british like Owen they will continue being negetive because they don’t have love for the really people of Zimbabwe .

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    The problems Zimbabwe is experiencing is not and has never been caused by Sanctions. The problems have always been cause by looting of the economy and Patronage. In the late 80’s- early 90’s an electrical company folded in Europe because it was selling sub standard goods. The assets were auctioned off and some connected person cleared out the transformers and lighting goods for a song. He then, because of his connections got a tender to supply Harare city council. These sub stranded goods were sold to the council for exorbitant prices. When they were fitted we got transformers exploding or seizing in a short period of time. The street lights were also not lasting long.

    Remember the Mayor that was changing the tyres on his car on a weekly basis. They would be removed and resold and more would be ordered. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Remember George M. the NRZ Forman who had enough material he pinched from the NRZ to build several houses . The brand new railway tracks that were sold to Zambia for a song until NRZ had to cannibalize its’s sidings for railway tracks to repair the main line. I can go on and on. These people did not sleep on the job, they closed their eyes and looked a side. We were in a better position to beat sanctions that Ian Smith was. He built we destroyed and that’s the fact. How can we justify the pot holes when tar was being made in Zimbabwe? The proud signs of the 80’s MADE IN ZIMBABWE and now we import chickens. Sanctions my foot.