The European Union (EU) prepared a memo for its diplomats ahead of talks in Harare on Thursday in which it condemned the arrests and abductions of political activists.
The memo also expressed the EU’s worries at the government of Zimbabwe’s slow pace of political reforms, including the alignment of laws to the constitution that was adopted in 2013.
The EU’s ambassador in Harare, Timo Olkkonen, told acting foreign affairs minister July Moyo and his team that that reforms and inclusive political dialogue would also help with Zimbabwe’s economic recovery. He said:
These reforms can pave the way for a further strengthened relationship between Zimbabwe and EU based on shared values, the respect of human rights and the sustainable development goals agenda.
Zimbabwe is currently grappling with the effects of a severe drought as well as a collapsed health system and galloping inflation.
Like his predecessor Robert Mugabe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has blamed sanctions for the country’s economic problems which he says are meant to remove the ruling ZANU-PF party from power.
Yesterday, police used batons, tear gas and water cannon to violently disperse MDC supporters who had gathered to listen to a speech by their leader, Nelson Chamisa.