Europe ea­ger to mend tense re­la­tions with Zim­babwe

African Times - - International/Africa - MAR­CUS MUSHONGA

THE Euro­pean Union (EU) has ex­pressed com­mit­ment to re-en­gage with Zim­babwe, end­ing al­most 20 years of hos­til­i­ties af­ter hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions by the de­posed govern­ment of Robert Mu­gabe.

EU’s will­ing­ness to sup­port the South­ern African coun­try fol­lows the new ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa (75) tak­ing over from Mu­gabe (93) in the wake of his res­ig­na­tion in Novem­ber last year.

His de­par­ture af­ter over 37 years in power fol­lowed in­ter­ven­tion by the mil­i­tary as Mu­gabe and a fac­tion within Zanu-PF lined up his wife, Grace, to suc­ceed him.

The lat­ter part of his reign saw re­la­tions with Europe, whom Mu­gabe ac­cused of at­tempt­ing regime change in Zim­babwe, strained.

A spokesper­son of the EU has reaf­firmed the bloc’s will­ing­ness to sup­port the plan­ning and im­ple­men­ta­tion of much-needed struc­tural changes and the pro­mo­tion of good gov­er­nance in Zim­babwe.

“In this con­text, the EU will sup­port the au­thor­i­ties in es­tab­lish­ing as soon as pos­si­ble a con­struc­tive re-en­gage­ment with in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions based on a clear and time-bound eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal re­form programme,” the spokesper­son stated from Brus­sels, Bel­gium.

How­ever, sup­port by Europe hinges on the re­turn of the rule of law and wider and hold­ing of cred­i­ble elec­tions later this year.

The EU would con­sider elec­toral ob­ser­va­tion, pro­vided the re­quired con­di­tions were ful­filled and an in­vi­ta­tion was re­ceived from Mnan­gagwa’s govern­ment.

Mu­gabe had re­fused to in­vite EU to ob­serve elec­tions af­ter it ac­cused his ad­min­is­tra­tion of elec­toral fraud and vi­o­lent farm seizures since 2000.

EU slapped Mu­gabe and his in­ner cir­cle with tar­geted sanc­tions and as­set freezes.

The up­com­ing elec­toral process will thus be an es­sen­tial step in the re­vival of ties, EU stated.

“EU stands ready to re­view the whole range of its poli­cies to­wards Zim­babwe at any mo­ment to take into ac­count the progress achieved in the coun­try.” – CAJ News

Pres­i­dent of Zim­babwe Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, Robert and Grace Mu­gabe

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