Zim/EU reengagement talks: The facts

elton_mangomaHARARE The European Union has told a high-powered Zimbabwe delegation to fully implement the global political agreement before restoring full ties with the Western bloc. (Pictured: Elton Mangoma)

Speaking on Monday after leading a high powered ministerial delegation on re-engagement with the European Union to Brussels, Elton Mangoma, who is also the new Energy and Power Development minister, said the EU was unequivocal in demanding that Zanu (PF) fulfil its end of the bargain in fully implementing the GPA which it voluntarily inked.

During the meeting, it was clearly articulated that Zimbabwe should fully implement the GPA, uphold democracy, human rights

Not good enough

Although the EU acknowledged that they had been some progress made in the country since the formation of the inclusive government in February 2009, the bloc, however, felt that Zimbabwe had not done enough in the full implementation of the GPA and respecting the rule of law.

The EU said it was worried by the lack of progress in Zimbabwe and it continues to receive hordes of letters from individuals and civil society groups protesting human rights violations in Zimbabwe citing the case of the harassment of WOZA members and recently, on the case of Mr. (Farai) Maguwu, Mangoma said.

Maguwu the director for Mutare-based Centre for Research and Development was jailed for more than a month last month after exposing rampant theft of diamonds and human rights abuses by State actors at Chiadzwa diamond fields.

Mangoma said the EU had clearly stated that the restrictive measures would be progressively lifted to match progress on the ground. Mangoma said the progress that was noted was on the economic achievements in Zimbabwe, the relative peace prevailing in the country and the Zim/EU reengagement talks: The facts Constitution-making process, which is underway.

Minister Mangoma was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi; Priscilla Misihairambwi-Musga the Regional Integration and International Cooperation minister; and Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa. The delegation met with members from the EU Council and European commissioners.

Put it in writing

The EU members told the Zimbabwe delegation that Zanu (PF) politicians who had been placed on restrictive measures should write to the European Court appealing against the decision.

The EU has come up with a provision that the persons and companies on the list can apply to the authorities of individual EU member states to get authorisation to access the frozen assets to pay for basic and other needs, Mangoma said.

They can request the council with supporting documentation justifying why the council decision to put them on the list should be reconsidered and they can also challenge the council decision to include them on the list before the General Court of the EU.

They also have the right to approach the EU personally and say why they should not be removed from the restrictive measures, Mangoma said. This, the Zimbabwean delegation was told, can be done at anytime.

EUs pledge

During the meetings, the EU also made a pledge to disburse more than 120 million Euros to Zimbabwe. For accountability and transparency, the money would be disbursed through the multi-donor trust fund, not the central bank.

However, the EU team was shocked by the lack of commitment to dialogue shown by certain officials from Zanu (PF), who regularly boycotted meetings. Mumbengegwi and the Foreign Affairs permanent secretary, Joey Bimha failed to attend several meetings, much to the chagrin of their MDC colleagues.

Because of this negative attitude from the Zanu (PF) camp, the Zimbabwe delegation was told to come up with a roadmap showing commitment in fully implementing the GPA and respecting human rights. The roadmap should have clear signposts on what the country would like to achieve with indicative dates on implementation.

The roadmaps with clear benchmarks are intended to reflect on the Zimbabwe side the effective implementation of the GPA and on the EU side the lifting of the current restrictions and the normalisation of the EU Zimbabwe relations, said Mangoma.

As clearly shown by Zanu (PF)s attitude during the visit to Brussels, the MDC is seriously concerned by the lack of commitment on the part of Zanu (PF) in fully implementing the GPA, Mangoma said.

He said the MDC remained fully committed to the re-engagement negotiations with the international community despite attempts by other partners in the inclusive government to scuttle the dialogue.

The MDCs view is that key to have these restrictive measures eased, or lifted, is for those in Zanu (PF) who are resisting progress to implement the commitments, to reform as they agreed to in the GPA, said Mangoma.

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