By Elizabeth Sitotombe
THE European Union (EU), which continues to hold Zimbabwe to ransom under the yoke of sanctions, has, despite President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s well-intentioned efforts at re-engagement, renewed its embargo.
Despite the Second Republic’s spirited efforts to engage the West, illegal sanctions have been macntained on the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) by the EU.
The EU cited the ‘situation’ in the country as the reason for the extension of sanctions.
A statement issued by the EU recently reads: “The Council today renewed its restrictive measures in view of the situation in Zimbabwe for a further year until 20 February 2025. The EU measures in place consist of an embargo on arms and equipment which might be used for internal repression, and a targeted assets freeze against one entity, Zimbabwe Defence Industries.
On 15 February 2011, the Council adopted Decision 2011/101/CFSP concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Zimbabwe. The remaining restrictive measures in place do not affect the people of Zimbabwe, its economy, foreign direct invescatments or trade.”
The EU went on to state that they will continue to follow closely developments in Zimbabwe with particular attention to the human rights situation.
It boggles the mind what ‘situation’ in the country the EU is referring to!
The West will always try to find ways to derail progress in the Government’s reform agenda as well as tarnish the country’s image.
Zimbabwe recently held peaceful elections with no reports of any violent incidences except for the security threats against the country of proposed demonstrations by various CSOs and the main opposition party.
The CSOs have been insistent in their drive to promote regime change by presenting the ZANU PF Government as ‘undemocratic’, ‘despotic’ and ‘proscribed’.
Meanwhile, opposition parties and their proxies in the civil society in Zimbabwe are burning the midnight oil planning and preparing for violent protests.
Prior to that, a report released in January by the Canada-based Fraser Institute suggested that Zimbabwe’s human rights record continues to falter due to numerous incidences of human rights abuses, political repression and compromised rule of law, fuelling the EU’s excuse to sanction the ZDI.
They will not stop.
The EU purports to be championing democracy through these sanctions yet the opposite is quite true. They are sponsoring unruly elements to cause anarchy in the country.
The EU is also clearly working against the Government’s re-engagement initiative.
With the opposition CCC out of sorts, Western funders have tasked their people in the so-called civil society to take the lead in an onslaught on the Government of Zimbabwe.
The CSOs continue to assert that the human rights situation in Zimbabwe is a cause for concern; they claim there is a massive crackdown on civic leadership and opposition politicians by State security agents. Baffling is the fact no reports of that nature have been made to the police.
CSOs have pointed out to their gullible donors that substantial amounts of money are needed to oil their operations, over and above the vulgar sums of money they squandered after the ‘expected’ violent clashes between the State and opposition members failed to materialise.
But still they insist there are lot of on-going clashes taking place!
Already, some organisations, such as Heal Zimbabwe Trust, the Counselling Services Unit, NGO Forum and ZimRights, are purportedly funding victims of State abuse.
The four ZINASU students arrested for malicious damage to property are being supplied with food hampers and transport money, and are said to be living at safe houses as they go to court. All these are being sponsored by Heal Zimbabwe Trust and ZimRights.
The students are being treated like heroes for their criminal and nefarious activities against the Government.
There are other supposed activists who are under attack from Government who are being housed by the Action Support Centre in South Africa. The centre has housed the likes of Gift Ostallos Siziba and Makomborero Haruzivishe, among many others. The Action Support Centre, SA, is purportedly a hub of a global network of organisations and individuals committed to promoting conflict.
They work hand-in-glove with the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and ZimRights. Recently, ZimRights funded and sponsored demonstrations in Ingezi, Chegutu, over land which was allocated to a local businessman popularly known as Father Flower. The ZimRights national programmes co-ordinator, Leo Chamahwinya, is said to have spearheaded the assault.
More than US$150 billion has been lost in revenue over the years due to the punitive sanctions that they claim are targeted at certain organisations and individuals. Yet, in reality, sanctions made it difficult for the Government to provide the most basic services such as education, healthcare and potable water for ordinary Zimbabweans.
They severely crippled the country’s economic growth, limited access to international financing and trade, as well as negatively affected the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.
Millions of Zimbabweans have been pauperised; their day-to-day lives stifled and paralysed by this ungodly attack on their economy.
To remain relevant and justify their operations, the opposition and CSOs must present ZANU PF as a ‘monster’ out to get its citizens and they do so by any means necessary – fake news, abductions and fomenting violence, among other machinations .
The EU is a unique political entity with a hybrid government model that makes the organisation half supranational and half inter-governmental.
Meanwhile, the ruling ZANU PF successfully secured a two-thirds majority in Parliament after winning all six seats in the by-elections held countrywide on Saturday, last week.
This included a clean sweep of all the contested seats in Mashonaland East Province.
In Marondera, ZANU PF won three seats in Wards 5, 8 and 10 while they bagged another seat in Goromonzi South Constituency.