THE court case filed by Attorney General Mr Johannes Tomana against the
European Union’s illegal sanctions regime exposes the bloc’s human rights violations against Zimbabwe and the individuals concerned.
The illegal embargo was also imposed in violation of the Cotonou Agreement that governs relations between the EU and African Caribbean and Pacific countries.
Besides the disregard of its own regulations, the bloc also contravened international law when it imposed the sanctions in 2002 and continued to extend them regardless.
Political analysts yesterday said the lawsuit filed by Mr Tomana and 120 others clearly showed how the EU had been used by Britain in its bilateral dispute with Zimbabwe.
The challenge is being led by a team of lawyers comprising David Vaughan, Maya Lester Robin Loof and Zimbabwean lawyers Farai Mutamangira and Gerald Mlotshwa.
Political analyst Professor Jonathan Moyo, yesterday said the case will expose how the EU had illegally violated the rights of the individuals concerned and the illegality of its actions.
“It has emerged that papers filed with the court in the high profile case by the high-powered legal team led by David Vaughan have blown the pretentious cover of the EU’s self-serving commitment to the rule of law and human rights,” said Prof Moyo.
“The European bloc routinely claims to uphold and seek to champion rule of law and human rights around the world as the core of its foreign affairs and security policy. The EU imposed its widely condemned economic sanctions against Zimbabwe in a self-indulgent manner that has shockingly disregarded the rule of law.
“It has trampled on its own regulations and policies with the dire consequences of wantonly violating the human rights of not only those Zimbabweans who are alleged to be targeted by the illegal sanctions but also harming the rights of ordinary Zimbabweans in general,” he said.
Prof Moyo said the regulations that the 20 individuals and entities were sanctioned under were supposed to be amended when the EU sought to increase the number of people on the sanctions list in 2009 but the bloc failed to do so.
When the EU sanctions were first imposed in 2002, they included only 20 individuals whom the EU then described in terms of its Council Regulation Number 310/2002 as “individual members of the Government (of Zimbabwe) and natural or legal persons associated with them”.
“In July 2009 the EU sought to escalate its sanctions onslaught against Zimbabwe by proposing new regulations whose purpose was to broaden its 2002 and 2004 regulations to include people who were not members of the Government of Zimbabwe or their associates who were described as “other natural or legal persons whose activities seriously undermine democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law in Zimbabwe”.
“The EU proposed new regulations because the 2002 and 2004 regulations did not permit the inclusion of the category of people proposed in July 2009 and that category could have been legally included in terms of the rule of law only if the 2002 and 2004 regulations were first amended,” he said.
The EU, Prof Moyo said did not enact those new regulations to enable the inclusion of the other persons rendering their actions illegal even according to their own
“As a matter of fact the EU’s July 2009 proposed new regulations were never enacted into a regulation or any other legal instrument and the European institution under Britain’s manipulative pressure has since then continued to add a number of Zimbabwean individuals and entities to the EU sanctions list.
“This has been a blatant violation of the rule of law which the EU claims to champion,” he said.
Prof Moyo said the sanctions were also not imposed because Zimbabwe was a threat to any EU’s Common Foreign Policy and Security Policy position but were driven by the British in their bilateral dispute with Zimbabwe.
Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, told the House of Commons in 2010 that they (British Government) were in constant touch with the MDC on how the sanctions would be lifted, exposing how his Government was abusing EU processes in its dispute with Zimbabwe.
The court papers also show that some of the people on the list were included because they are Zanu-PF members or belonged to a faction of Zanu PF.
This, according to the court papers was insufficient grounds to impose sanctions on a person or entity as it was not illegal to belong to the party that is part of Zimbabwe’s inclusive Government.
Prof Moyo said it was clear the sanctions were imposed at the behest of Britain in the dispute with Zimbabwe that began when it reneged on its obligation to fund land reforms in the country.
“The AG's lawyers make clear that both the 2002 and 2004 EU regulations used to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe were enacted as unilateral measures not supported by any international law instruments because the United Nations has never imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“In fact a draft United Nations resolution sponsored by Britain to impose sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2008 failed after suffering a double-veto from Russia and China,” Prof Moyo said.
Midlands State University lecturer, Dr Nhamo Mhiripiri, concurred saying it was difficult to say the sanctions were targeted when the persons involved were critical in the management of affairs of the country.
“The illegality of the sanctions has been made clear since no UN resolutions were reached on that matter. The only attempt that was made to legitimise it was rejected.
“There are some people that say the sanctions were targeted to those concerned individuals but when you look at their influence in the socio-economic life in the country it becomes clear that the scores of people that also depend on them would be affected.
“As you know some of the people are part of an emerging class that also employs other people that any actions on them will also affect those other ordinary people,” Dr Mhiripiri said.