Germany is ready to engage Zimbabwe provided that the country implements political and economic reforms.
German ambassador to Zimbabwe Thorsten Hutter told the Zimbabwe Independent that political reforms entail a commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting human rights. Said, Hutter:
Germany has repeatedly stated that we are willing to engage with Zimbabwe, provided that political and economic reforms are implemented. In terms of political reforms, this includes, among other things, a commitment to upholding the rule of law and protecting human rights.
The government has on numerous occasions pledged its commitment to political and economic reforms. Let me underline that these reforms are not to be implemented for Germany’s sake, but for the sake of Zimbabwe.
Recent events have cast a shadow over the government’s willingness to implement reforms. I hope that this commitment will be upheld.
The Zimbabwean government has been arguing that its reaction to the protests was necessary in order to protect rights of citizens, including their property, and to restore law and order.
I want to underline that governments have the responsibility to do that. However, the crackdown has resulted in deplorable deaths and numerous human rights violations have been reported.
These incidents obviously raise the question whether the reaction by the government was proportionate. The President has announced that incidents of abuses and human rights violations will be investigated. We will follow this investigation process closely.