The European Union (EU) has urged the Zimbabwean government to implement recommended and pledged reforms that are premised at transforming Zimbabwe.
EU’s head of delegation to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen, made the remarks while speaking to the Daily News at the weekend when the country is facing decades-long economic, humanitarian, and political crises.
The diplomat observed that when president Emmerson Mnangagwa rose to power in 2017, he pledged to implement political, media, legal and other reforms but little has been done in that regard. He said:
We have been drawing attention primarily to the government’s own intentions and partly to internationally agreed standards. The election campaign promises of 2018, the president’s inaugural speech, the Transitional Stabilisation Programme and now the National Development Strategy all include very important elements that, when implemented, would take Zimbabwe on a different track.
In terms of political rights, I could refer to the recommendations of the EU electoral observation mission and the report of the Motlanthe Commission, the recommendations of which I think are of wider importance than addressing the events of August 2018 alone.
This is not to say that we have not seen any reforms, and we are ready to give credit when we see it justified.
There have, for example, been positive steps in balancing the economy and regulating the media environment, but especially as regards the latter these have been countered by other steps that take things in a more negative direction.
Of particular concern for us are the recent proposals to severely restrict the operating space of civil society.
He also reiterated that the EU is willing to assist the government of Zimbabwe with the reform agenda adding that what is required is for Zimbabwe to take action itself.
Preciously, Japan said Zimbabwe is not backing the reform rhetoric with action and as a result, it is not known if the Southern African country is committed to implementing the reforms.
Analysts believe that the reforms will work towards fostering democracy and good governance and overall transformation of the country.
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