European NGOs caution EU delegation against promising direct aid to Government

zimbabwe_europe_networkEU visit should press for the full implementation of the agreement that political parties signed a year ago.
The Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN) welcomes the visit of a high level EU troika to Zimbabwe but cautions against EU aid directly to the inclusive government.

A year after the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) by Zimbabwes MDC leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara and Zanu PFs Robert Mugabe there has been some progress but many matters are unresolved. There are still human rights violations and much of the machinery of the state serves one political party.

ZEN urges the EU to use this very timely visit to increase the pressure for the Zimbabwean inclusive government to undertake the key reforms it had committed itself to in the GPA.

While initial progress has been made in the areas of education and health, two systems which had effectively collapsed prior to the formation of the inclusive government, critical issues such as transitional justice, particularly the legacy of impunity, selective application of the law and the state of the media in Zimbabwe have been conveniently ignored said Mcdonald Lewanika, Coordinator of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a key ZEN partner in Zimbabwe.

Any discussion between the EU and Zimbabwe should encourage the Zimbabwean authorities to implement the positive actions that the parties have agreed upon in the GPA, particularly those that do not depend on external support like freeing the media and repealing oppressive legislation. For the European Union to support the inclusive government directly before any reform would be rewarding the instigators of violence Tor-Hugne Olsen, Coordinator of the Zimbabwe Europe Network added.

The new administration has taken steps to halt the deterioration of the health and education sectors, however thousands of Zimbabweans still flee to South Africa and rampant acts of violence by President Mugabes allies have continued with impunity. A wave of arrests of lawyers and journalists has taken place in full view of the unity government, which has also done nothing to tackle the human rights abuses in diamond mines.


– An EU delegation led by the Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation, Ms Gunilla Carlsson including the EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian assistance Mr Karel De Gucht is visiting Zimbabwe 12 and 13 September.

1. – So far Western donors remain to be convinced of Mugabes commitment and the strength of the unity government to implement reforms. They have provided humanitarian aid including

salaries for health workers but not provided the government with direct development aid.

The Zimbabwe Europe Network is a network of European secular, faith-based and developmental organizations with programmes of support and/or presence on the ground in Zimbabwe. The network seeks to bring the demands, views and aspirations of Zimbabwean civil society into European policy formulation on Zimbabwe

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