Zim urged to respect human rights

A visiting high-level delegation from the French Foreign Affairs ministry yesterday urged the government to improve the country’s human rights situation and investigate the disappearance of activist Itai Dzamara who was abducted three months ago.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Speaking at the residence of the French Ambassador in Harare yesterday, head of the French delegation and deputy secretary-general of economic affairs Remy Rioux said Zimbabwe’s re-engagement with the European Union was an important set in
improving relations between the two.

But Rioux said the EU still felt there were issues which could hamper relations between the two, including those to do with human rights, the political processes in Zimbabwe and Dzamara’s disappearance.

“There are points of attention in the political process and the situation of human rights that we must discuss in a candid way. I insist on the candidness because we have to build trust,” he said.

Rioux said Zimbabwe had to respect international frameworks such as repaying multi-lateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.

He said the Paris Club, an informal group of officials from creditor countries whose role is to find co-ordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor countries, was finalising the exact amount owed by Zimbabwe.

“More French companies are now contributing to the economy in Zimbabwe. There are big players like Total, Lafarge and Bureau Veritas who are coming back to Zimbabwe to contribute to the growth of the economy,” Rioux said.

He said issues discussed with the government during the visit included Zimbabwe’s presidency of Sadc and the African
Union and how the government could build using these two platforms.

“We will envision the next steps as the country re-engages with financial institutions and the international community,” Rioux
said.

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