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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid