Human Rights Watch advises keep targeted sanctions

bob_matibiliThe international advocacy group, Human Rights Watch, has urged the international community to maintain targeted travel sanctions and asset freezes against ZANU PF and its leadership. (Pictured: Robert Mugabe)

Human Rights Watch Senior Researcher, Tiseke Kasambala, told us from Johannesburg on Tuesday that the West should only consider lifting the sanctions if there are concrete commitments from Mugabe to implement fully the Global Political Agreement.

We believe that ZANU PF and Mugabe are the main obstacles to progress in terms of reforms. Unless there are clear cut reforms in human rights and other contentious areas, there should be no lifting of any targeted sanctions against individuals in ZANU PF, Kasambala said.

HRW released a report on Monday titled False Dawn, that highlights numerous failures by the inclusive government to implement the GPA, almost a year after Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara signed the deal on 15th September 2008.

With the anniversary of the GPA coming up in two weeks time Tsvangirai on Tuesday accused Mugabe of failing to honour an agreement to reverse the appointments of the Central Bank Governor, and the Attorney General, while at the same time not going ahead with the appointment of provincial governors. Briefing journalists in Harare Tsvangirai also accused Mugabe of undermining the GPA through the arrest of several MDC lawmakers.

Firstly, it is regrettable that the government has not been fully consummated to the extent that not all ministerial holders have been sworn in, he said in reference to Roy Bennett, the deputy Agriculture Minister designate, who has not been sworn in since he was nominated by the MDC to the post.

The Prime Minister said the issue of the RBZ Governor and Attorney General and the failure to appoint provincial governors was impacting negatively on the credibility and legitimacy of the inclusive government, and should be resolved urgently.

Current SADC chairman, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, last week called on the coalition partners to fulfill the benchmarks set by donors, to ensure financial assistance to Zimbabwe. The benchmarks include complete implementation of the agreement.

So far, the inclusive government has failed to repeal or amend all national legislation that is incompatible with international and regional human rights law and standards, including the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act; the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

South Africas foreign ministry said on Monday the power-sharing government will top the agenda at a regional summit next week in Kinshasa.

The 15-nation SADC bloc will hold its annual summit on September 7th and 8th in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where South Africa will hand over the chairmanship to the Joseph Kabila of the DRC. Kabila is a close allay of Mugabe and seen as too friendly to reign in the 85 year-old leader.

This will be a very important summit, South African foreign ministrys director general Ayanda Ntsaluba said. Zuma is expected to brief the leaders about his visit to Zimbabwe last week, where he reportedly pressured the leaders of the inclusive government to overcome their differences.

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