Chinamasa offside on EU

HARARE - Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa drew the ire of various stakeholders on Monday when he lambasted the European Union (EU) for maintaining travel bans on President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, while he also smilingly-received a $270 million donation from the trading bloc.

If Chinamasa and his Zanu PF colleagues care so much for their leader to be allowed to visit Europe, then the former liberation war movement must fulfil all the agreements of the Cotonou Agreement.

Restrictive measures against Zimbabwe were implemented in January 2002 on the basis of the EU’s allegations of violations of human rights, democratic principles, and the rule of law — within the meaning of Article 96(2)(c) of the Cotonou Agreement.

Subsequently, the trading bloc suspended budgetary support to Zimbabwe and also halted financial support for all projects, except those in direct support of the population until the political situation improves in the country.

However, for the past 13 years Zanu PF has been crying foul accusing the European Union for slapping it with “sanctions” but history has shown that Zanu PF invited restrictive measures upon itself when it blatantly disregarded various international agreements it had signed with other countries.

Despite breaching the Cotonou Agreement — signed between the EU and members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States — Zimbabwe also ran afoul of the Commonwealth in 2000, and was suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth in 2002, ironically under the Harare Declaration.

By the time Zimbabwe finally resigned from the Commonwealth in 2003, there had been sustained engagement with it by the Commonwealth from 2000 onwards, and, in the end, it was evident to all that the Zanu PF-led government had been in serious violation of the principles of the Harare Declaration, and had made little or no attempt to honour its voluntary agreements to deal with a number of egregious violations of that Declaration.

Again, reference should be made to the even sorrier affair of the Sadc Tribunal, yet another body and treaty agreement voluntarily signed up to by the Zimbabwe government, only for the government to refuse to be bound by its decisions when the court ruled against it.

What Chinamasa and company fail to tell the whole world is that on November 9, 2002 Zimbabwe imposed “smart sanctions” on members of the British Cabinet, Heads of British Government Departments, Patrons of the Zimbabwe Democratic Trust and the Board of Governors of the Westminster Fund for Democracy among others. The assets of concerned individuals in Zimbabwe were also frozen.

Were these “smart sanctions” removed Mr Chinamasa sir?

Comments (3)

Mugabe and company should remain on travel ban. They want to leave us suffering here and they continue to to enjoy themselves worldwide. They should go to the far east chete not to EU. Chinamasa should be given money whilst he is here in Zimbabwe and not to travel to the EU.

Mugabe Grade - 19 February 2015

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