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

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs