BY PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE
THE European Union (EU) yesterday decried the failure by the Zimbabwean government to improve its human rights record, but lifted long suspended sanctions on two top officials and former First Lady Grace Mugabe.
The bloc announced that it was lifting sanctions on Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Valerio Sibanda and Mugabe.
It, however, maintained its embargo on the Zimbabwe Defence Industries.
The announcement came soon after President Emmerson Mnangagwa returned from Belgium for the African Union (AU)-European Union (EU) 6th Session last week, which he hailed as a great success.
Chiwenga and Sibanda have been on the suspended sanctions list since 2014, while Mugabe was added in 2020.
In maintaining the embargo on ZDI, the EU said the renewal of sanctions was a result of the human rights situation in the country which had not changed as evidenced by closure of democratic space.
“The situation in terms of respect for human rights has not improved in Zimbabwe. Intimidation of the political opposition and other government critics has continued to restrict the democratic and civic space, which is under threat of shrinking further, through the Data Protection Act and ongoing