EU delegation in Zim for financial talks

A high level delegation from the European Union is reported to be in Zimbabwe for critical talks to re-establish financial aid and cooperation, which were suspended in 2002 when targeted sanctions were placed on the Mugabe regime.

According to the Daily News newspaper the team arrived Tuesday for talks, which are part of ongoing political dialogue that started in 2009 when the Global Political Agreement (GPA) was signed. The GPA called for the coalition government to restore links that were severed by the targeted restrictive measures.

The last such meeting took place in 2009 when the coalition government was established. At the time the EU Aid and Development Commissioner Karel De Gucht and a Swedish delegation reportedly met with all the Principals in government. It is not clear who will meet the EU delegation this time around.

Three members of Zimbabwe’s re-engagement team travelled to Brussels in May for talks to restore billions of dollars in investment funds, and to call for a removal of the targeted sanctions. The delegation was comprised of Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC-N), Elton Mangoma (MDC-T) and ZANU PF’s Patrick Chinamasa.

Then in July the EU suspended the measures restricting development aid. This was hailed as a positive sign by the EU ambassador to Zim, Aldo Dell’Ariccia. But the takeover of white owned businesses and farms has continued under the guise of indigenization and empowerment, which could lead to the restrictive measures being reinforced.

In addition, a group of senior ZANU PF officials were recently granted concessions and hunting licenses in the Save Valley Conservancy, ignoring warnings that their actions would endanger the country’s precious wildlife.

The chaos and lack of respect for the rule of law are likely to be considered when the EU team evaluates the situation in Zimbabwe. And more political and economic reforms are expected of the coalition government, before the restrictive measures are relaxed further. – SW Radio Africa News

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