Australia to Remove Zimbabwe Sanctions

This comes after the European Union (EU) last month also removed  51 of Mugabe’s allies and 20 mostly government owned or controlled companies from the sanctions list that Brussels has updated several times since it first imposed the punitive measures 10 years ago.

Australia Foreign Minister Craig Emerson says the figures to be removed from the sanctions list no longer pose a  threat to the restoration of democracy, the rule of law, or progress under the Zimbabwe’s unity government .

“We want to see Zimbabwe get back on its feet so that its economy can prosper, and its society can be freer, fairer and more democratic,” said Emerson.

“Australia’s autonomous sanctions regime against Zimbabwe remains one of the world’s toughest. We will continue to uphold this until there is further progress towards democracy and respect for the rule of law in Zimbabwe.”

The Australia government said prohibitions on defence links and a ban preventing the adult children of listed individuals studying in Australia will also remain in place.

In 2002 Australia  alongside the, EU , United States,  Britain, Switzerland and New Zealand have imposed targeted sanctions  on Mugabe and his top military, ruling and business associates as  punishment for allegedly stealing elections, perpetuating human rights  violations and failure to uphold the rule of law.

Mugabe denies the charges and instead says the EU and its western allies imposed the sanctions in a bid to weaken him and eventually cause his ouster from power as punishment for seizing land from white farmers.

The Zimbabwean leader also says the sanctions have had a wider impact beyond the targeted individuals to hurt the southern African country’s economy and that keeping them in place has damaged efforts by his unity government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to rebuild the economy.