Twenty-one members of Robert Mugabe’s regime have been removed from the European Union (EU) list of targeted 'sanctions’, with the European leadership bloc facing criticism for putting its economic interests ahead of human rights.
By Alex Bell as published by our partner SW Radio Africa
EU diplomats met in Brussels on Monday to decide Zimbabwe’s sanctions future, with the measures set to ‘expire’ on Wednesday. Officials had indicated that the EU would be lifting some measures to reward Zimbabwe’s ‘progress’, as a result of the finalizing of the constitution reform exercise. The EU said it “welcomes the breakthrough in the constitution making process as a significant step forward in implementing the Global Political Agreement”.
Twenty-one people, including Masvingo ‘war vet’ Shuvai Mahofa, have now been removed from the list, along with one company named as Divine Home (Pvt) Ltd. Visa bans on six government ministers, including Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi and Media Minister Webster Shamu, have also been lifted.
The other ministers now free from European travel bans are: Herbert Murerwa (Lands), Sylvester Nguni (State in the VP’s Office) Sithembiso Nyoni (Small & Medium Enterprises) and Francis Nhema (Environment).
The other individuals removed from the ‘sanctions’ list are: David Parirenyatwa, Dani Rangwani, Richard Ruwodo, Patrick Zhuwao, Isaac Mumba, S. Mutsvunguma, John Nkomo, Michael Nyambuya, C. Muchono, Isaac Mudenge, Mudonhi Columbus, Mugariri Botwell, G Mashava, Gilbert Moyo, S. Mpabanga, Cephas Msipa, David Chapfika, TInaye Nzirasha, Tongesai Chipanga, R. Kwenda.
The decision by Europe comes after days of speculation that the state-run Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) would also be removed from the list, with Belgium leading the call for the company to be allowed to resume European trade. Belgium has since been slammed for putting its own interests before the human rights of Zimbabwe, because such a move will allow the Belgium diamond capital Antwerp to trade in Chiadzwa diamonds from Zimbabwe.
The ZMDC has not yet been removed from the list, but there is more speculation that this will happen later this month.
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