February 17, 2020

European Union relaxes sanctions against Zimbabwe

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ZTN reporter

THE European Union has announced some concessions on sanctions the bloc imposed against Zimbabwe almost two decades ago.

In a statement on Monday, the EU called for an “inclusive national dialogue” which it said was “key to finding structural and durable solutions to the challenges faced by Zimbabwe”.

The European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe after then President Robert Mugabe deported its chief election observer during the 2002 presidential election, but has gradually relaxed its measures to leave only sanctions on the Zimbabwe Defence Industries.

Zimbabwe and the EU resumed formal talks in 2019. The bloc says it will retain sanctions against the Zimbabwe Defence Industries for a further year. The restrictive measures against former first lady Grace Mugabe, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Agriculture minister and former Air Force of Zimbabwe chief, Perrance Shiri and Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Philip Valerio Sibanda, have been suspended.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Government has welcomed the decision by the European Union to further ease its sanctions against Zimbabwe. In a statement, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Sibusiso Moyo said the development is an acknowledgement by the EU of the progress Zimbabwe has made in its reforms, adding that the reform agenda is a process rather than an event and will take time to complete.

Dr Moyo added that the sanctions and restrictive measures imposed against the country are unjustified and should be removed forthwith.

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