ZIMBABWE – The European Union is today expected to announce its position on whether or not it will remove the remaining very legal sanctions it imposed on Zimbabwe at a press conference to be addressed by its newly-accredited ambassador, Mr Philippe Van Damme.
This follows indications the economic bloc made in February this year when it lifted some of the sanctions, saying a decision on the remaining measures would be taken by November 1.
Removal of targeted sanctions will mean that Mugabe can now directly engage with the EU on a bilateral level unlike now when the Western bloc mainly channels its humanitarian support through non-governmental organisations.
The EU has removed the names of some senior Zanu-PF and Government officials from the sanctions list, but left President Mugabe, his family and service chiefs.
It also has not lifted trade sanctions that would allow direct engagement between the EU and Harare. African, Caribbean and Pacific-European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly head of mission for Zimbabwe, Makhosini Hlongwane said Zimbabwe expected total removal of all forms of sanctions.
“Having suffered more than a decade of a vicious economic war designed to subjugate our economy, our politics and our people, and cognisant of the needless suffering of the Zimbabwean people, which has expressed itself in the closure of thousands of companies, throwing millions out of work, this is the time for Europe to reconcile with its conscience, and do the only right thing, to remove the double measure of unjustifiable sanctions come November 1,” said Hlongwane, who is also Mberengwa East Member of the National Assembly.
He said the trade embargo imposed by the EU had been a yoke on the neck of Zimbabweans as it affected ordinary persons.
sadc and the African Union have condemned the illegal sanctions, saying they were not justified because they did not have the blessings of the United Nations.