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polls remain a pipe dream
Caiphas Chimhete, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
June 02, 2013
lifting of sanctions by the West against some of President Robert
Mugabe’s inner cabal will not cajole Zanu PF into holding
democratic elections, as the former ruling party is determined to
win the polls at all costs, analysts have warned.
the move strengthens Zanu PF ahead of elections, as supporters would
see the lifting of sanctions as victory against the European Union
(EU) and the US.
In the past
few months, the EU has been gradually lifting sanctions on senior
Zanu PF officials, accused of gross human rights violations.
last week said the lifting of sanctions was a “stick and carrot”
approach by the West, which would not guarantee a free and fair
Court last week ordered
Mugabe to proclaim elections dates and have the polls held
by July 31 this year.
The US recently
removed eight Zanu PF officials from the list as part of its “action
for action” approach, to acknowledge “progress”
in the country since the formation of the inclusive
government in 2009.
In March this
year, EU suspended sanctions against a list of 91 people after what
it termed peaceful, successful and credible referendum on a new
The bloc also
suspended measures against eight of 10 companies linked to Mugabe
and Zanu PF, a party accused of fanning political violence especially
towards and during national elections.
Effie Ncube believes Zanu PF will not be moved by the lifting of
sanctions, as the party wants power more than it fear sanctions.
Ncube said Mugabe
and his cronies fear prosecution for crimes they allegedly committed
in the past.
of sanctions is a way of encouraging good behaviour but it is not
going to work because Mugabe and his people love power more than
they fear sanctions,” he said. “The economic gains of
being in power outweigh the possibility of good behaviour encouraged
by the lifting of sanctions.”
Zanu PF spokesperson,
Rugare Gumbo has on several occasions dismissed the partial lifting
of sanction as a “non-event”, which the party does not
The party wants
total and unconditional suspension of the sanctions.
But Nkomo said Zanu PF officials, especially those removed from
the sanctions list, were very happy, although they would not want
to publicly express it.
they will dismiss this gesture in public but those that have been
removed are very happy about it,” said Nkomo.
Ncube said Mugabe
and Zanu PF see the lifting of sanctions as a victory against the
EU and US adding that it encouraged a sense of political impunity
as the restrictions were being removed when nothing had changed
on the ground.
Zanu PF, he
said, would also use the lifting of sanctions during their campaigns
for their political gain.
will tell their people that they conquered the EU and America, so
who is MDC or any other party to challenge them,” said Ncube.
Douglas Mwonzora said the issue of sanctions was a bilateral matter
between the EU and Zanu PF. He said it was up to the bloc to maintain
or remove them.
truth on the ground is that Zanu PF is resisting reform and there
are well-documented cases of State-sponsored violence especially
in Mutoko,” said Mwonzora.
Mugabe was forced
into a government of national unity (GNU) after he was beaten
by MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the 2008
presidential elections. Tsvangirai however, failed to garner
enough votes to claim the presidency.
imposed targeted measures on senior Zanu PF officials and various
companies over a decade ago, accusing the former ruling party of
land grabs and human violations as well as vote rigging.
PF NOT WILLING TO MAKE REFORMS’
Dumisani Nkomo said the easing of sanctions by the West was part
of its efforts at normalising relations with Mugabe and Zanu PF
after a decade of an antagonistic relationship.
He however does
not see the EU removing sanctions completely before the elections,
as Zanu PF has not been willing to reform the media and security
sector, which could be used to Mugabe’s advantage during elections.
see them removing all the people on the sanctions list,” said
Nkomo. “This lifting of sanctions may not change anything
because Zanu PF is not keen on making major reforms as previously
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