By Political Writer
THE European Union (EU) has slapped President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration with sanctions 48 hours after the Zimbabwean leader’s departure from the Western bloc’s high level engagement meeting.
The Southern Africa leader travelled to Brussels, Belgium towards the end of last week in his attempt to step up his re-engagement drive
However, despite the efforts were all an exercise in futility after the EU renewed sanctions , adding the Zimbabwe Defence Industries to list.
The bloc raise concerns over the human rights violations situations obtaining in the country should be swiftly brought to justice to end impunity.
“ The recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry have not been followed substantially and need to be implemented as a matter of priority and urgency. It is important that international human rights obligations are adhered to and the constitutional rights of the people of Zimbabwe respected,” said the EU in a statement.
The EU said the situation in terms of respect for human rights has not improved in Zimbabwe underscoring that intimidation of the political opposition and other government critics has continued to restrict the democratic and civic space, which is under threat of shrinking further, through the Data Protection Act and ongoing legislative processes such as the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill and the envisaged so-called Patriotic Act.
“In this light, the EU recalls the purpose of its restrictive measures, which is 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 has decided to renew its restrictive measures, while lifting the already suspended restrictive measures against three individuals.
“The arms embargo and the targeted assets freeze against one company, Zimbabwe Defence Industries, remain in place taking into account the situation in Zimbabwe, as well as the continuing need to investigate the role of security forces in human rights abuses.”
The EU said it will continue to closely follow developments, with a particular attention to the human rights situation, and recalls its readiness to review and adapt the whole range of its policies accordingly.
“The measures in place are targeted and very limited, therefore they do not affect the people of Zimbabwe, its economy, foreign direct investments, or trade. Zimbabwe continues to benefit from duty free and quota free access of its exports to the EU, while negotiations are ongoing to deepen the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Economic Partnership Agreement,” EU added.