EU Parly supports targeted sanctions on Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe

The European Parliament on Thursday supported the stance taken by the European Union (EU) on targeted measures against President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace blaming them for the deteriorating political and human rights situation in Zimbabwe.

By Moses Mugugunyeki

The resolution was made during the European Parliament’s deliberations on missing human rights defender Itai Dzamara.

Dzamara — a prominent human rights activist —was abducted by five unidentified men in Glen View on March 9 and his whereabouts remain unknown.

“We note the lifting of sanctions decided by the EU and supports the targeted measures that currently remain in place against the President [Mugabe] and his wife [Grace], as well as the arms embargo, which are a response to the political and human rights situation in Zimbabwe,” the European Parliament said.

The EU in February extended for a year travel restrictions and an asset freeze on Mugabe and his wife Grace, in the wake of continued human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and failure to implement political and economic reforms.

The bloc had promised to make another review in February next year. However, Mugabe’s lethargy in implementing reforms as well as his failure to uphold the rule of law is likely to strain relationship between Zimbabwe and the 28-member bloc.

“We urge the Zimbabwean government and President Mugabe to comply with their international obligations and the provisions of the international treaties that have been signed by Zimbabwe and that guarantee respect for the rule of law and the fulfilment of civil and political rights,” said the bloc.

The EU strongly condemned the forced disappearance of human rights defender Itai Dzamara and called for his immediate and unconditional release.

“The government of Zimbabwe must take all necessary measures to find Dzamara and bring all those responsible to justice. We call on the government to fully comply with the High Court order directing them to search for Dzamara,” the EU said.

The bloc said it was deeply concerned at reports by human rights organisations of increasing political violence, harassment of political opposition and severe restrictions and intimidation faced by human rights defenders, who are often beaten by the police and arrested on false charges.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director McDonald Lewanika said the EU resolution on Dzamara and the deteriorating human rights situation would go a long way in knocking sense in the government and subsequent release of Dzamara.

“We are heartened by the resolution of the European Parliament as it shows that Dzamara has not been forgotten and that with each passing day the voices calling for his release increase,” said Lewanika.

“We join this renewed call for Dzamara’s release and repeat our call for the respect of fundamental human rights in Zimbabwe. We urge other regional bodies like Sadc, African Union and Pan-African Parliament to follow suit in order to stem this unsavoury practice in the bud”.


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  2. At least the fossiled leader will come to true terms that so.called sanctions which are actually travel bans were brought to us by his brutal actions and not necessarily because of land invasions or Tsvangirai. Do you think the world will keep quiet when Dzamara umong a thousand others who disappeared?

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