No Reforms No Full Engagement, EU Tells Mnangagwa
12 June 2021

THE European Union (EU) has told President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration that the bloc cannot fully engage with Harare unless it institutes far reaching political and economic reforms.

The EU early this year extended by a further year sanctions it imposed on Harare, initially in 2002, arguing that they would remain in place until government stops rampant human rights abuses and vicious clampdown on dissent.

The bloc said in a statement following a closed-door meeting between government and representatives of the delegation of the European Union to Zimbabwe it made clear to government that respect for human rights was a key pretext to a full-fledged restoration of relations, which soured at the turn of the millennium when the Zanu PF government embarked on a chaotic land reform programme, which resulted farmers of European origin being driven from farms across the country.

The meeting, which was held in Harare on Thursday, allowed for the continuation of discussions on topics that are of common interest and are priorities in EU-Zimbabwe relations: human rights, democratisation, rule of law and good governance, economic development, investment climate, free trade, the economic partnership agreement, development co-operation, humanitarian assistance and regional and global partnerships, the bloc said in its statement.

“The EU and its membership expressed concern over a curtailed democratic space in Zimbabwe over the last year and reports of continued violations of human rights such as reported cases of enforced disappearances, and lengthy unjustified detentions, arrests of journalists and other limitations to the freedom of expression and the media. The EU urged government conduct impartial investigations of human rights violations and bring perpetrators to justice,” the EU said.

– Newsday