A political analyst, Rashweat Mukundu said the EU had demonstrated its sincerity in dialoguing with Harare, but the bloc will not change its stance on sanctions until the ZANU PF-led government reforms.
The EU early this year extended by a further year sanctions it imposed on Harare, initially in 2002, arguing that they would remain in place until Harare stops trampling on human rights.
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Mukundu noted that Zimbabwe’s rhetoric on reforms does not match what is taking place on the ground, hence the EU has continued to raise concern. He said:
The EU is setting a foundation for continued dialogue with Zimbabwe, but I don’t see the EU reneging on its position that government must respect human rights and adhere to constitutional provisions and reform some of its undemocratic policies.
There is no change of the EU looking aside when the government is committing abuses in the interest of promoting dialogue.
It is only giving the government an opportunity and showing they are sincere in their call for dialogue, but there has to be tangible action from the Zimbabwean authorities in terms of respecting human rights.
It’s not only a matter of talking but acting on the part of the Zimbabwean government on concerns the EU has been raised.
The issue is there a match on the ground in what the Zimbabwe government is saying and doing.
This comes after the EU said it cannot fully engage with Harare unless it institutes far-reaching political and economic reforms.
The EU diplomats held a meeting with government officials on Thursday. Zimbabwe was represented by Foreign Affairs and International Trade minister Frederick Shava while the EU head of delegation to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen was joined by ambassadors of EU Member States, France, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, The Netherlands, Spain and Romania.