Sanctions on Mugabe And Cronies To Stay: EU Envoy

Westcott met Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and civic society organisations in the country during his two day visit. He said his trip was to check on the progress that has been going on the country but said the travel embargo on Mugabe and cronies will stay until progress is seen on the ground.

“Earlier this year we lifted sanctions on a number of individuals that we believed that were no longer justified and half of my purpose of coming here myself is to the review the situation and see whether there is a case to recommend to member states,” Westcost told journalists before he left Harare.

“I cannot say what decision will be taken on that but I can say we keep the situation under review and the greater the progress of the complete implementation of the GPA and towards elections the stronger the case will be to suspend some of the sanctions, that is the situation to be made by the member states.”

Westcott expected to attend the EU-South Africa Summit when he leaves Zimbabwe.

The EU said the EEAS was established in January this year “to assist the High   Representative of the European Union, Baroness Ashton, in fulfilling her mandate of conducting the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy.”

Relations between the government of Zimbabwe and the EU has been frosty in the past decade after it slapped President Mugabe and his close associates with sanctions over human rights abuses and manipulating elections.

Mugabe has been arguing that the embargo is wholesale thus the sanctions are not targeted. On Tuesday Mugabe again called on the EU and the US to remove sanctions.

“Our foreign policy continues to be anchored on the need to safeguard our hard-won independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Mugabe said while addressing parliamentarians last Tuesday.

“We continue to call for the outright removal of the illegal sanctions which are an impediment to our efforts to turn our economy and improve the livelihoods of our people.”
A European Union delegation visited Zimbabwe in 2009 after the formation of the coalition government. Mugabe held a meeting with the EU delegation where he called for the sanctions to be removed but the EU delegation said they will only removed the ‘restrictive measures’ once freedoms are guaranteed in the country and a free and fair election is held.