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legitimize Mugabe regime, Zimvigil warns the EU
Mthulisi Mathuthu, SW Radio Africa
December 03, 2013
View this article
on the SW Radio Africa website
As the EU appears
headed towards lifting the remaining targeted sanctions against
President Robert Mugabe and his cabal the member states have been
urged to consider their move in the light of the worsening situation
in the country.
Vigil said it was launching a campaign to ‘alert British MPs
and other opinion formers’ to the ‘deteriorating situation’
ahead of the February 2014 meeting during which the EU will review
In a statement
on Sunday the Vigil said it was doing so after ‘a number of
EU leaders made it clear’ they favored ‘normalizing’
relations with Harare.
Only last week
Greece caused indignation when its new ambassador to Zimbabwe, Leonidas
Contovounesios, revealed that his country wants the restrictive
measures removed by 2014 when it assumes the EU presidency.
SW Radio also
reported last week about a German firm Wilhelm Guth Ventiltechnik
which has been supplying components to Mugabe’s Gushungo Dairy
Estate for the past four years, in contravention of the EU trade
The Vigil said
following ‘Belgium’s successful demand’ to lift
the sanctions against the ‘dubious’ Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation it will be ‘difficult’ for Britain
to hold the fort, hence the campaign. Vigil coordinator Rose Benton
told SW Radio Africa that the organisation will be meeting ‘soon’
to discuss alternatives of spreading the campaign to the rest of
the member states.
the campaign was part of the recommendations which came out of its
‘Restore Zimbabwe’ all-stakeholders conference held
in London two months ago.
group said even if the EU was to lift the sanctions next February,
it is the Vigil’s ‘intention is to stress Mugabe’s
illegitimacy because after all individual member states decide who
to ‘deal with’.
The EU imposed
restrictive measures against Mugabe and his inner circle in February
2002 following the expulsion of the head of the EU observer mission
Pierre Schori, amid an increase in human rights violations. However,
over the years the measures have been carefully relaxed in response
to specific reforms and in some cases travel bans have been lifted
against certain individuals.
individuals, including Mugabe and one company, remain on the EU
restrictive measures list.
Vigil believes that there should be no further relaxation of the
restrictive measures because Mugabe remains an ‘illegitimate
The Vigil says
it believes the
July 31st elections were rigged and is ‘seeking’
help from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and the International
Bar Association to prove its case. In letter to British MPs the
Vigil says the Zanu-PF mafia is ‘clinging to power despite
wrong-headed policies that have destroyed the economy and driven
millions into exile’. The Vigil sees Zimbabwe lurching towards
‘North Korean-type siege mentality’ as ‘acts of
violence, looting and intimidation by predatory gangs’ escalate.
The letter cites
the revelations in Zanu-PF business man Philip Chiyangwa’s
divorce case as ‘an insight into the depths of corruption
in the Zimbabwean mafia.’
In this case
Chiyangwa’s wife is demanding a share in assets, which include
a range of properties and a fleet of luxury cars, farms and buildings,
indicating the scale of the wealth of the Zanu-PF elite.
The Vigil has
been demonstrating outside Zimbabwe House in London every weekend
for the last 11 years, campaigning for free and fair elections in
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