EU committed to democracy

The European Union will continue with its support to democratic forces in the country to ensure a respect for human rights, according to the head of its delegation to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’ Ariccia.

The head of the European Union’s delegation to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’ Ariccia.
The head of the European Union’s delegation to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’ Ariccia.

The EU noted several irregularities in the manner in which Zimbabwe’s harmonised elections were conducted, but the continental body reiterated its dedication to seeing the rule of law prevailing in Zimbabwe.

After the announcement of Zimbabwe’s election results, which saw President Robert Mugabe garnering 61 percent against MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s 34 percent, the EU said it was concerned about “alleged irregularities and reports of incomplete participation” regarding the polls.

MDC-T leader, Tsvangirai, is on record saying the elections were a farce.

Said Ariccia: “The overall purpose of the EU is to ensure its support to Zimbabwe so that it returns completely on the path of democracy and the rule of law and respect for human rights. So we will continue supporting all forces, groups and entities in the country that seek to promote social stability and respect for international standards in terms of governance and human rights”.

He said the EU was committed to re-engaging with Zimbabwe but that it would depend on “the message coming from the new government”.

Ariccia said it was the responsibility of both the EU and the Zimbabwean government to ensure that relations were normalised.

“Both sides have a responsibility for the future of this relationship. We are ready to listen to the message of the new government,” said Ariccia.

With regards to targetted sanctions, he said the EU was still waiting for the final reports from the Southern African Development Community and the African Union observer missions before it mapped the way forward.

The European Union removed sanctions on 81 officials and eight firms following the successful holding of Zimbabwe’s constitutional referendum in March. However, 10 people, including Mugabe, are are still on the sanctions list.

The EU is on record saying credible elections were a pre-requisite for the removal of the remaining sanctions.

“There is a present assessment of the situation but there are elements which are still missing and these are the final reports from SADC. Policies that will be adopted by the new government will also be taken into consideration,” said Ariccia.

In July, Ariccia said a lot of European investors were keen to invest in Zimbabwe but feared their investments would be hijacked by political decisions.

Zimbabwe’s indigenisation policy compels foreign owned firms with a minimum shareholding of $500,000 to cede 51 percent of their shareholding to locals.

Ariccia said the EU would continue its support to Zimbabwe through the European Development Fund.

Post published in: News

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