“The EU ministers will be meeting on the 16th in Brussels to take the final decision on Zimbabwe. We can’t anticipate anything but we are reviewing the positive and the negative to
see whether the conditions have improved,” Ariccia told Radio VOP in an interview without saying whether the grouping will extend or remove the restrictions.
“That review will lead to the decision on the sanctions. The situation in the country will also be looked at and if there are growing signals of an improvement these factors will be taken in.”
He said a lot of other aspects will also be factored in citing the context of the Government of National Unit (GNU), the Zimbabwe –EU re-engagement plan currently underway, input from SADC (Southern African Development Community) appointed negotiator Jacob Zuma, political parties and civic groups.
“We have received requests for the removal of restrictive measures from many sources. The three political parties in the GNU and President Zuma have asked for their removal but there are reasons for which the sanctions where imposed and you can not just overlook that,”
The EU imposed restrictive measures on Mugabe and his inner coterie in 2003 as a way of forcing them to embrace and respect human rights and rule of law.
Among some of the measures has been an asset freeze, travel bans and a ban on European companies from doing business with companies owned or linked to Zanu (PF).
Zanu (PF) supporters have been forcing residents in Harare and Bulawayo to sign a petition to remove sanctions, sparking violence in mostly township areas. The party blames Zimbabwe’s lack of economic progress on the targetted sanctions.