The measures, which in essence are nothing more than travel and banking restrictions aimed at preventing the thievocracy from stashing away their ill-gotten gains, were put into place because of the past behaviour of these individuals. (In any case why would a patriotic African leader want to bank his money in Europe?) The reasons why those measures were put in place still exist. These include, to mention but a few: extra judicial killings, kidnappings, no rule of law, repressive legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), use of the security forces and the judiciary to harass, abduct, torture and kill those considered to be opponents, violent invasions of commercial farms, police intimidation and harassment of MDC and human rights activists, and failure to conduct a comprehensive and transparent land audit which is being fiercely resisted.
Independent observers such as Human Rights Watch have correctly pointed out that the power-sharing government has largely failed to end rights abuses or to institute fundamental reforms. In particular, they mention the continued persecution of elected MDC activists through frivolous, politically-motivated prosecutions. At least 17 MDC-T legislators face various trumped-up criminal charges, with at least five legislators already convicted by the courts. For its part, if Zanu (PF) is serious about turning over a new leaf, and returning Zimbabwe to the rule of law, they need to implement fully all the terms of the GPA to which Mugabe appended his signature. If they cannot even be trusted to implement something they signed up to, why should the world reward them?
Only when all these have been fully met can the people of Zimbabwe agree that the international community be asked to reward Zanu (PF) officials by removing the targeted measures.
The MDC has been patient in the face of extreme provocation. They are vilified daily on state radio and television and in the state-controlled media. They cannot be expected to campaign for the lifting of punitive measures against those who continue to abuse them in this fashion.Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga