Australia criticised for easing Zim sanctions

Australia’s government is facing criticism for deciding to ease its targeted sanctions still in place against Robert Mugabe and key members of his regime, with 82 individuals set to be delisted.

According to a media release on Monday, Australia’s Acting Foreign Minister Craig Emerson has said that the 82 people “no longer posed a threat to the restoration of democracy, the rule of law, or progress under the Zimbabwean Government’s power sharing deal.”

“We are working closely with our partners in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States to support the combined efforts of Zimbabwe, South Africa and the Southern African Development Community to build a brighter future for Zimbabwe,” Emerson said.

He added: “Australia’s autonomous sanctions regime against Zimbabwe remains one of the world’s toughest. We will continue to uphold this until there is further progress towards democracy and respect for the rule of law in Zimbabwe.”

Travel and financial sanctions will remain on 153 individuals and four entities, while adult children of listed individuals will remain restricted from studying in Australia. The country will also continue to prohibit defence links and the sale of military equipment to Zimbabwe.

The Australian’s decision comes after the government there removed 17 people from the sanctions list last August. It also follows a decision by the European Union (EU) this year to ease its targeted measures against the Mugabe regime. The EU last month removed 51 people and 20 companies from its sanctions list, citing ‘progress’ made by Zimbabwe’s government.

Former Zimbabwean diplomat Clifford Mashiri told SW Radio Africa on Monday the easing of these measures is premature, and questioned what progress both the EU and Australia have noted.

“There has been no progress to talk about,” Mashiri said.

He added: “One has to believe that these governments are trying to be sincere in wanting democratic change and so are easing these measures in good faith.”

Mashiri called this ‘carrot and stick diplomacy’, which he added “doesn’t necessarily work and certainly does not work on ZANU PF.”

It is not yet clear who has been removed from the Australian sanctions list, as the changes have not yet been published. That government said in its statement that the changes “will take effect as soon as the amended list is published on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.” – SW Radio Africa News

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *