EU slammed for ‘forsaking’ democratic hopes of Zimbabweans

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
28 February 2014

The European Union (EU) has this week been further criticised for its decision to ease targeted restrictions against key members of the Robert Mugabe regime, with the bloc being slammed for ‘forsaking’ Zimbabweans.

The EU earlier this month suspended its targeted measures against eight ZANU PF officials, but kept the restrictions on Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. Among those targeted were army generals and senior intelligence officers, including the Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Zimbabwe’s Intelligence Chief and Chief of Police.

The European bloc had previously said the restrictions would not be removed until there was real democratic change as a result of a free and fair election in Zimbabwe. But its latest move has come in the absence of this and the EU has since faced criticism for condoning not only the disputed elections last July, but also the culture of impunity, corruption and other issues that highlight ZANU PF’s brand of political control.

Zimbabwean economist and commentator Vince Musewe said Friday that it was for this reason that he wrote a letter of protest to the EU this week.

“The reasons why the sanctions were put into place was because there was no democracy, and the whole idea of the measures was to reform the system in Zimbabwe and move towards democracy. That hasn’t happened and now we see the EU coming to ease the sanctions, and for me there is no logic behind this,” Musewe told SW Radio Africa.

Musewe wrote in his letter to the EU: “Your recent actions to effectively support and inadvertently strengthen those whom have caused much pain to millions of us and have forsaken the ideals of the liberation struggle. I pray that Zimbabwe will rise notwithstanding.”

He said Friday that the EU’s decision was motivated by the commercial and economic interests that some EU members have in Zimbabwe, such as Belgium. Belgium, the diamond capital of Europe, spearheaded the initiative to remove restrictions against ZANU PF’s mining parastatal, the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) last year. That has directly resulted in Zimbabwe’s controversial diamonds being sold in Belgium’s diamond hub, Antwerp. Musewe said these “vested interests” mean the targeted measures have been removed for the wrong reasons.

“This will just allow army people and those others to travel to Europe. It won’t do the country any good. It is more about them (the EU) than about us,” Musewe said.

He said that ZANU PF’s “emotional chorus” that the measures ‘hurt’ Zimbabwe have been part of the party’s propaganda campaign, with the party using the so-called ‘sanctions’ as the scapegoat for all the country’s problems.

“ZANU PF is scared to accept the reality that they have failed, so they need to find scapegoats for everything. Even if you remove them (the targeted sanctions), they will find more excuses,” Musewe said.

He continued that the EU, rather than removing the restrictions, should have stood by its own commitments to democracy and maintained the measures until there was real change in Zimbabwe. He then called on the European bloc, along with other international bodies and governments, to support democratic forces in the country, until such change is achieved.

“The international community needs to be steadfast and needs to support the democratic movement in Zimbabwe. They need to do so until we see change,” Musewe said.

Meanwhile an EU delegation in Zimbabwe earlier this month said the bloc’s move was taken as a step towards the ‘normalisation’ of relations with Zimbabwe. They insisted the targeted measures had not been removed, but had been suspended, meaning they could be re-imposed at any time.

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3 Responsesto “EU slammed for ‘forsaking’ democratic hopes of Zimbabweans”

  1. THE BLACK ARISTOCRAT says:

    Its not the EU that the impoverished citizens of the failed state of Zimbabwe need to be concerned about, but their new colonial masters the Chinese.

    Ever wondered how Mugabe and his regime henchmen can afford 50 bed mansions, $25 million private jets, fleets of executive cars, luxury property portfolios, wardrobes of designer clothes, and have butlers, maids, chauffeurs, PA’s and gardeners to attend to their every need, while they gorge themselves to obesity on expensive food and fine wines flown in from the West?

    When China gives a loan to an African country, it becomes a sovereign government debt paid back in minerals and other goods.

    China then imports everything needed to do the job, down to the last nut, bolt, and screw, and buys nothing but water from the local country.

    Almost every worker is imported from China, not just the engineers and technicians.

    The African country gets loaded with debt, and have a project that is built by Chinese at massively inflated prices that allow them to take the mineral wealth for very little, and in return enables them to put huge cash kickback’s into the regime elite’s offshore bank accounts.

    For every big Chinese project, hundreds and thousands of smaller private Chinese businessmen come to Zimbabwe and do the same. Look at the thousands of Chinese gold miners in Africa for example.

    Robbing the country of its minerals, markets, and everything else moveable, in return for letting the regime elite and the senior officers of their private army and police force live the life of billionaires, while 95% of the population are unemployed and living in abject poverty with most now reliant on food aid!

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Well, the Chinese presence is now a reality no one can challenge. The USA and European Union had their chance to invest in this country but they blundered in the belief they had a legitimate right to punish a sovereign and independent Zimbabwe both economically and politically. Their illegal economic sanctions on a sovereign and independent state have proved to be a flop and complete failure on their part. Years of economic stagnation in the US and EU could have improved if only they had not followed a policy that has not worked to their own advantage but to that of China that came in to fill the void.

      The US and EU now realise it was a serious blunder that will cost them for many years to come. The Chinese have, therefore, nothing to worry about but the US and the European Union for the loss they have suffered at the hands of the Chinese who are doing a sterling job in Zimbabwe. We love the Chinese people, period. They are the true friends of Zimbabwe. They taught us how to fight foreign control and domination. Today, they are helping a country whose people it gave arms of war to liberate themselves.

  2. Yepec says:

    Since Tony Blair was told by Mugabe that Zimbabwe was his (property or fiefdom) in Durban, South Africa. Mugabe could do what he wanted with it without anybody’s interference, especially, from Europe or the USA. No one challenged that premises that it was a question of abused “human rights” than that of personal property and to this day, this false thinking stands and has become an established and accepted basis of Mugabe’s dictatorship.

    Since the World accepted it and strangely, the Zimbabweans, this false premises has been expanded into a doctrine of ruthless dictatorship which Mugabe has enjoyed over the years and this latest move by the EU only confirms it. One’s property takes precedence in the current thinking of the World than the abused rights of the African people.

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