News / Africa

Analyst: Easing EU Sanctions on Mugabe Allies 'Serious Blunder'

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, right, chats to Prime Minister Morgan Tsavangirai during their end of year press conference at State House in Harare, saying they were dispelling rumors of disunity in the Government of National Unity, Dec. 20, 2010
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, right, chats to Prime Minister Morgan Tsavangirai during their end of year press conference at State House in Harare, saying they were dispelling rumors of disunity in the Government of National Unity, Dec. 20, 2010

Multimedia

Audio
  • George Mkwananzi, deputy chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria,spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

The deputy chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, told VOA the European Union “betrayed oppressed” Zimbabweans after the EU dropped sanctions against 35 allies of President Robert Mugabe.

George Mkwananzi said many Zimbabweans are shocked and disappointed that the European Union will revise its sanctions, in his words, to the detriment of the victims of ongoing violence allegedly perpetrated by supporters of President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.

“The European Union is making a serious blunder by scaling down and even reducing the numbers of those people who are on the sanctions list at a time that we expect them to be increasing the list and tightening even the conditions of the sanctions because there is nothing really to reward there at home (Zimbabwe),” said Mkwananzi.

“When you take some people off the sanctions, you are actually saying that you have done a good job, we have seen some significant progress. But, in this case, we have seen the reversal of what has been considered as progress. So, this move may have been ill-timed.”

The individuals were on a list of people banned from traveling to the EU and whose assets in the bloc were frozen because of their ties to the Zimbabwean leader. The EU extended the sanctions for another year on 163 people, including Mr. Mugabe, and 31 businesses.

Mkwananzi said the European Union committed, in his words, a serious gaffe by lifting sanctions against Mr. Mugabe’s allies.

“When you witness an upsurge in violence, at a time when things are supposed to be cooling down in preparation for elections, when you expect the process of constitution-making to be teetering towards a conclusion, which is going to create grounds for election which is going to be free and fair, you have this which, in fact, is the opposite and nemesis of what one will consider conditions that are ripe for elections,” said Mkwananzi.

“You cannot reward such a situation. I don’t know what kind of lenses these people (EU) are using, which gives them such a bleared vision of the situation in Zimbabwe.”

EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton said Zimbabwe has made “significant progress” toward addressing its economic crisis and delivering basic services to its citizens. However, she said political reforms in Zimbabwe have not kept pace, and said she was deeply concerned about a recent surge in violence, mainly in the capital, Harare.

The ZANU-PF and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formed a contentious power-sharing government in 2009 after disputed elections. President Mugabe has proposed that new elections be held this year, two years ahead of schedule.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

ILO: Women Still Losing Out in Global Work Place

International Labor Organization says women are marginally better off now than they were 20 years ago More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More