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European Parliament resolution on Zimbabwe
European Parliament
December 04, 2004

pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure, tabled by

- Geoffrey Van Orden, Nirj Deva, Bernd Posselt; and José Ribeiro E Castro on behalf of the EPP-ED Group
- Pasqualina Napoletano and Glenys Kinnock on behalf of the PES Group
- Fiona Hall and Johan Van Hecke on behalf of the ALDE Group
- Frithjof Schmidt, Marie Hélène Aubert, Marie Anne Isler Béguin on behalf of the Green/Efa Group
- Jonas Sjöstedt, André Brie, Gaby Zimmer on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on Zimbabwe
The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Zimbabwe, most recently of 15 January 2004,

- having regard to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas 75% of the Zimbabwean population, some 9 million people, is now living below the poverty line and the World Food Programme is only able to provide food aid to 1.6 million people in December due to interference from the Mugabe regime,

B. whereas the Mugabe regime is intensifying its political oppression under the Public Order and Security Act and other such measures and through additional repressive legislation, such as the Non-Governmental Organizations Act, which infringes fundamental human rights, such as freedom of association,

C. whereas a case of particular and urgent concern is that of opposition MP Roy Bennett who, in the five years since his election, has been the subject of a vicious campaign of persecution by the Mugabe regime; whereas Roy Bennett MP was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour on 28 October on spurious charges and is now being held in appalling conditions in Mutoko,

D. whereas a general election is scheduled to take place in Zimbabwe in March 2005, but whereas the regime's Elections Commission Bill and Zimbabwe Electoral Bill fall short of the required SADC standards for free and fair elections,

E. whereas the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is reluctant to confirm participation in the March 2005 elections until the basic conditions for free and fair elections have been guaranteed,

F. whereas MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been subject to constant intimidation by the Zimbabwean authorities, was again subject to harassment on his recent return to Zimbabwe from visits to the European Parliament and European and African Capitals,

G. whereas deep splits have recently emerged in Zimbabwe's ruling party, the Zanu-PF,

1. Insists that all political interference in the distribution of international food aid is halted without delay to prevent the Zanu-PF government from using food as a political weapon;

2. Insists that repressive legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act is repealed and that the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe are held in accordance with the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections, including those agreed in Mauritius on 17 August 2004, with unimpeded access for international observers and an end to intimidation of opposition supporters;

3. Demands the immediate release of Roy Bennett MP and the cessation of all violence and intimidation towards his family and employees;

4. Calls upon Zimbabwe's neighbours and in particular President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, who recently addressed the European Parliament, to engage on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe to bring about change for the better and ensure that the Zimbabwean Government fully cooperates with SADC and the wider international community to guarantee free and fair elections and a robust and timely international monitoring presence;

5. Welcomes the steps taken by the African Union Commission on Human and People's Rights to report on abuses in Zimbabwe, and stresses that AU must continue to monitor and also act in regard to the human rights, civil rights and political situation in Zimbabwe and to keep up this process of peer review throughout Africa;

6. Reiterates its demand to the Council and Commission that loopholes in the EU's targeted sanctions against the Mugabe regime be closed, and that the sanctions be rigorously enforced; also requests that Council and the Commission provide maximum support for international efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in particular technical support to local, regional & international observer missions;

7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Governments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Government and Parliament of South Africa, the UN Secretary-General, the Presidents of the Commission and Council of the African Union and the Secretary-General of SADC.

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