|EU to suspend sanctions|
|Friday, 13 July 2012 15:05|
Hebert Zharare and Tendai Mugabe
target senior Government and Zanu-PF officials and some business entities in the country.
The EU Commission’s resolutions are expected to be made public in Brussels this month-end.
Close sources said the 27-member EU bloc recently agreed in principle to lift the embargo but details were “deliberately” leaked to the British media.
Zimbabwe will hold a referendum soon after the completion of the Constitution-making process.
The paper, however, argued that the West wanted to persuade President Mugabe “to hold free and fair elections”.
The sanctions were imposed in 2002 as Britain and its Western allies protested against the country’s land reform programme which benefited more than 300 000 landless Zimbabweans.
Quoting some unnamed European official sources, the Telegraph said there was now an agreement to bring Zimbabwe back in from “the cold but only if new conditions are met”.
European diplomats also told the media that Britain could be concerned that maintaining the embargo would affect its access to Zimbabwe’s vast mineral resources.
Quoting the officials, the Telegraph said: “We know that British interests and priorities are important here and cannot be overridden. We are working out a compromise that will see the EU use its influence positively while making the measures conditional.”
Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who is the Zanu-PF negotiator and member of Government’s re-engagement team, said he would comment after the EU made its final statement on the embargoes.
MDC secretary general Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga said the re-engagement committee called for the unconditional lifting of sanctions during their Brussels meeting in May this year.
She, however, welcomed the EU position.
MDC-T negotiator, Mr Elton Mangoma, said Zimbabwe’s position regarding the sanctions was very clear.
He said the US’ Zimbabwe Transition to Democracy and Economic Recovery Act and the EU sanctions were imposed to save the same purpose.
“The US sanctions are more diabolic than the EU sanctions. They have made a law to support their move of making sure that their citizens vote against the IMF and World Bank giving assistance to Zimbabwe,” he said.
“They are preparing to suspend the sanctions pending the referendum and the elections and will reinstate them if they are not happy with the way the referendum and the elections are held.”
“It defies logic that they want to lift something evil like sanctions . . . evil requires destruction not suspension.