Spotlight on sanctions

With Zanu (PF) claiming a huge but disputed victory in the elections, what will happen to the targeted sanctions that have been in place for over a decade?

Aldo Dell’Ariccia
Aldo Dell’Ariccia

Western countries imposed targeted travel bans and restrictions on selected individuals and companies seen to be propping up the Robert Mugabe regime. The United States, Britain and the European Union cited gross human rights violations and lack of respect for the rule of law as the reasons for imposing restrictions.

Senior Zanu (PF) officials have already begun calling for the removal of the sanctions. The party’s Secretary for Security and also State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi told the media after the announcement of results of the presidential elections that sanctions had to be removed.

“Sanctions have never been justified. They should go unconditionally,” Sekeramayi said.

The countries that imposed the sanctions on Zimbabwe have already condemned the elections.

Australia’s ambassador, Matthew Neuhaus, reportedly sent a cable to Canberra which he entitled, “A farcical election”. He called for a re-run.

Secretary of State for the United States, John Kerry released a statement saying: “Make no mistake: in light of substantial electoral irregularities reported by domestic and regional observers, the United States does not believe that the results announced today represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people”.

Britain through its Foreign Secretary, William Hague, expressed “grave concerns” about how the elections were conducted. He said there were serious questions about their credibility.

Hague pointed out that reforms promised in the 2008 Global Political Agreement between Zanu (PF) and MDC that created the Government of National Unity were not implemented.

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’Ariccia, told the media that while the elections were peaceful and orderly, the EU still had concerns about the process.

The EU said if election results were accepted by all, it would lift the sanctions.

Political analyst, Rejoice Ngwenya, said instead of removing the sanctions western countries should increase their pressure on the Mugabe regime.

“I see a wave of sanctions. Remember they were suspended while the West monitored the conduct of the referendum and the electoral process,” Ngwenya said.

Hague said all irregularities and allegations of electoral violations should be investigated and pledged to continue supporting Zimbabwe.

Neuhaus said Australia had no intention of removing the remaining targeted sanctions saying that the nature of the election was obvious.

Post published in: News

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