Zanu says wants better ties with EU

President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party says it is ready to resume dialogue with European Union (EU) countries but said Brussels must first lift sanctions against its top leaders.

Party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo told Swedish ambassador Anders Liden that the former liberation movement, most of whose top leaders are banned from EU territory, was ready for re-engagement, telling the diplomat that there was need to move away from “things which separate us”.

"We agree that we must turn a new page. We can't continue to live in the past. We can't dwell on things which separate us after all we are one humanity," Moyo yesterday told Liden, who had paid a courtesy call on the ZANU-PF chairman.

Moyo acknowledged the role played by Stockholm in support of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation struggle, while repeating ZANU-PF’s favourite line that the rest of the EU had been misled by Britain into imposing sanctions against the party’s leadership over a bilateral dispute between London and Harare.

The EU, alongside the United States, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand, imposed targeted sanctions against Mugabe and his top officials about nine years ago as punishment for allegedly stealing elections, human rights violations and failure to uphold the rule of law.

The sanctions include a ban on weapon sales to the southern African country.

The Western nations have however maintained humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe including providing food relief and HIV/AIDS support mostly through non-governmental organisations.

Mugabe, who denies violating human rights or stealing elections, says sanctions by the EU and its western allies were meant to weaken him and eventually cause his ouster from power as punishment for seizing land from white farmers.

The veteran leader — who insists the targeted visa and financial bans have had a wider impact beyond the targeted individuals to damage Zimbabwe’s once vibrant economy — has blocked democratic reforms, especially in the security sector saying these could only take place after a sanctions have been removed.

Post published in: News

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