01-23-18 by Spotlight Zimbabwe

EU Council Adopts Conclusions On Zimbabwe’s New Administration


Staff writer

On 22 January 2018, the Council adopted the following conclusions on Zimbabwe:

  1. The ongoing political transition in Zimbabwe creates high expectations among all Zimbabweans. It can open the way to a full return to the Rule of Law, within a constitutional framework and under civilian rule, allowing for the preparation and implementation of much-needed political and economic reforms.
  2. The EU reaffirms its availability to engage constructively with the new authorities including through a structured political dialogue, with political actors across the spectrum, and with civil society, on the basis of a mutual commitment to shared values focused on human rights, democratic principles and the Rule of Law. It will do so in coordination with African and international partners.
  3. The upcoming electoral process will be an essential step. The EU welcomes the commitment of the authorities to hold elections in line with the constitution, and underlines the importance that the conditions are in place to allow those elections to be peaceful, inclusive, credible and transparent. The EU would consider favourably electoral observation, provided that the required conditions are fulfilled and that an invitation from the Government of Zimbabwe is received.
  4. The EU welcomes the stated intention of the Zimbabwean authorities to deliver economic reforms in Zimbabwe, aiming at supporting job creation, growth and sustainable long-term development, and reaffirms its willingness to support the planning and implementation of much-needed structural changes and the promotion of good governance. In this context, the EU will support the authorities in establishing as soon as possible a constructive re-engagement with international financial institutions based on a clear and time-bound economic and political reform programme.
  5. The EU stands ready to review the whole range of its policies towards Zimbabwe at any moment to take into account the progress achieved in the country.

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  • What progress is the EU talking about?

    Zanu PF promised the people of Zimbabwe were promised freedom, liberty and human rights before independence but failed to deliver after independence as the regime immediately imposed the de facto one-party cum one-man dictatorship. Throughout the 1980s the regime promised the people mass prosperity, “gutsa ruzhinji”, but by the 1990s this had turned into mass poverty.

    As much as the people tried to remove Zanu PF from power, they failed because the party resorted to vote rigging, wanton violence and even staged the first military coup in 2008 just to stop MDC getting into power. As much as the people of Zimbabwe would want the 15 November 2017 coup to result in the country returning to the rule of law there is no evidence of this happening. None!

    Whilst they have continued to promise that Zimbabwe will hold free and fair elections; President Mnangagwa and his colleagues have however failed to implement any democratic reforms without which it is impossible to have free elections. Indeed, they continue to implement the party’s well-known vote rigging schemes such as bribing Chiefs and to threaten people with violence if Zanu PF lose the elections.

    “The EU stands ready to review the whole range of its policies towards Zimbabwe at any moment to take into account the progress achieved in the country,” EU has said.

    To review EU policies before the elections, due in four or five months, will be ill-advised because it will be rewarding the Zanu PF regime for promises it has made but, clearly, has no intention of honouring – as has been the case on so many occasions in the last 38 years. The EU must wait to see if President Mnangagwa will deliver free elections; the people of Zimbabwe have waited for the last 38 years for such elections it would be a pity if the premature move by the EU should cost the nation free elections just because the EU could not wait five months!