The European Union this week renewed their sanctions against a Zimambawean military entity Zimbabwe Defense Industries (ZDI) in order to prompt Zimbabwe’s authorities to demonstrate a long-term commitment to upholding human rights, Newsday reports.
In a statement announcing the renewal of sanctions, the EU said it will maintain its embargo to prompt Zimbabwean Authorities to investigate the role of security actors in human rights abuses:
In light of its continuing concerns, the EU has reviewed its restrictive measures, recalling their purpose to encourage a demonstrable, genuine and long-term commitment by the Zimbabwean authorities to respect and uphold human rights and the rule of law,” the EU said yesterday.
The EU has decided to renew its arms embargo and to maintain a targeted assets freeze against one company, Zimbabwe Defence Industries, taking into account the situation in Zimbabwe, including the continuing need to investigate the role of security force actors in human rights abuses.
Violations of human rights and limitations on the democratic space are also persisting. The EU is especially concerned about a proliferation of arrests and prosecutions of journalists, opposition actors and individuals expressing dissenting views and the use by high-level officials of speech that could be interpreted as incitement to violence,
The Government of Zimbabwe has committed to adhere fully to its constitutional and international human rights obligations which imply respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, including addressing impunity.
Perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses should swiftly be brought to justice and the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry should be implemented as a matter of priority and urgency
These measures do not affect the people of Zimbabwe, its economy, foreign direct investment, or trade and Zimbabwe continues to benefit from duty free and quota free access of its exports to the EU, with negotiations to deepen the Eastern and Southern Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
Accelerated political and economic reforms, respect for human rights, boosting trust in the rule of law and tackling corruption would contribute significantly to investor confidence, build a steady business climate and facilitate Zimbabwe in taking full advantage of the opportunities the EPA provides,” the European bloc said.
The EU reiterates its readiness to support credible and sustainable economic and political reforms, based on tangible commitments made by the government of Zimbabwe.
The EU regards electoral reform as an important element to strengthen democracy in Zimbabwe and is ready to continue its support in this field in line with the recommendations made by the 2018 EU electoral observation mission.
The upcoming political dialogue with Zimbabwe will provide an opportunity for exchanging views and deepening mutual understanding as well as looking for constructive co-operation
The EU first imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002 but over the years lifted the sanctions against some individuals and entities but sanctions against the following remain in place:
- Former First Lady Grace Mugabe,
- Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga,
- Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Philip Valerio Sibanda