Chinamasa tears into EU

HARARE - Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, yesterday criticised the European Union (EU) for the travel ban on President Robert Mugabe and wife, Grace, as the trading bloc signed off a $270 million aid deal with Harare.

Chinamasa said relations between the two were going to remain frosty until the bans were permanently lifted.

“While we have taken significant steps towards normalisation of Zimbabwe- EU relations, we must remain cognisant of the fact that there is still unfinished business. Zimbabwe Incorporated has a chief executive and as long as the chief executive remains under sanctions, our relations remain poisoned and unproductive. I therefore take this opportunity to call for the unconditional lifting of sanctions against our head of State and the First Lady,” Chinamasa said.

He added that officials who had been excused from the ban still found it ironic that the EU maintained its stance as far as the Mugabes were concerned.

“All you are saying to us is that we can visit you but we can’t bring our father, dialogue must be between equals and we will never be equals until the president is removed from these illegal sanctions,” he said.

EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Philippe Van Damme, however said he was not in a position to comment on the issue as he had not received communication on the way forward.

“I have no power to comment on this particular issue, as we are still waiting for the Committee to deal with the issue and decide on the final outcome. However, all I can say is that the direction is clear, once the factors that led to the restrictions are eliminated the restrictions will be eliminated as well,” he said.

The EU recently eased its travel ban on Mugabe, while he serves as chairman of the African Union for the next year. EU spokesperson Catherine Ray said the “ban will be lifted when he is travelling under his African Union chairmanship capacity”.

The EU imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002 over abuses linked to national elections, banning travel in Europe and freezing the assets of dozens of officials and business representatives. The measures have been gradually lifted in recent years to encourage reform but the 90-year-old Zimbabwean leader and his wife Grace remain on the EU blacklist. The role of rotating AU chairman is largely ceremonial, therefore, Mugabe will still be largely restricted.

Meanwhile, the EU and Zimbabwe signed a $270 million (EUR 234 million) National Indicative Programme (Nip), under a joint cooperation, funded by the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), to fund numerous projects that include health and the constitutional alignment.

The EU and government anticipate the formulation of projects worth over EUR 160 million by year end. Zimbabwe last received direct aid from the EU about 13 years ago.

Comments (14)

"once the factors that led to the restrictions are eliminated the restrictions will be eliminated as well." Chinamasa China-masa just take the handouts and dont try to come accross tough. If you were tough you would have sent them packing with their money. Grace is a private citizen so why are you bringing her into state affairs?

Galore 123 - 17 February 2015

Munotaura Patrick Chinamasa? Benzi iro rokuramba kudzoka kubva kuSouth Africa mwana wake Gwinyai afa kuAmerica.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 17 February 2015

Zim is not a beggar, but has been living independent of eu since 2000. The eu is now afraid of loosing business to Russia and China, hence the rush. to hell with their so called money. But zimbos are a clever lot, they can teach the stupid and the fools a lesson or two. ask the americans who fed billions to non-gvt organisations for a regime change agenda as to what happened to the dollars. they will tell you that mu zimbo haajairike. icho, saka mari ye eu torai va Chinamasa, musarege ichienda. asi ma sanctions ngaaende.

zindman - 17 February 2015

tisu takato tichwa shamwari. mvura ine ndove, migwagwa makoronga, nekugara murima. tisu tiri patight. ivo zvinhu zvavo vanazvo.

zvirozviyedzwa - 17 February 2015

Cde Minister Chinamasa Zimbabwe first and foremost then individuals like the President and his wife later.Zimbabwe survival is far more important than the fall of Cde Mugabe and his wife which is a case of necessity against luxury

carson macate - 17 February 2015

Take the money Chinamasa wakanyarara. Zimbabwe is broke and technically by now should have liquidated and put under curatorship. Just don't forget to give EU bond coins as a token of appreciation for their help!!!!!!

X-MAN IV - 17 February 2015

Read the RAU report on how the EU should be responding to the Zimbabwe government. http://www.researchandadvocacyunit.org/publication/governance-programme-6

tony reeler - 17 February 2015

manje Zimbabwe kana president vari pamaSanction hatinyengeteri zvimari zve EU.We have come all the way without it.ViVa Chairman ve AU President RG.Imboma yema Bhunu vanoda mabhunu vari America.

samuzira - 18 February 2015

In Zimbabwe there are people who cant even think. I used to like commenting on public forums but it looks like we still got fools among fools. Can someone separate what is good from bad or bad from good. When we say someone is a wise leader he or she has to have atleast some of the following basics ; 1. Should think of the less privileges ( senior citizens - adult welfare, orphans, widows,disabled people) 2. Should provide the basics to all citizens. Clean water, electricity, food security for a nation 3. Accepts failure 4. Protect all citizens not butchering them if they disagree with you

Chanu - 18 February 2015

@chamu i agree with you. certainly if Mugabe was AS CLEVER AS ALLEGED BY ZANU PRISE SINGERS., ZIMBABWE WOULDNT BE WHERE IT IS TODAY-DONT TELL ME SANCTIONS AGAIN. WE ARE TIRED OF THAT STUPID ZANU FAILURE JUSTIFICATION CHORUS

Referee - 18 February 2015

Taura zvako @ Chanu.How can you be human and fail to admit one day that you are wrong?Just once?All the time it's everybody else who is wrong iwewe chete ndiwe uri right?Come on, let only the zpf fools believe this trash.

Tahir Iqbal - 18 February 2015

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