EU 'sanctions' on Mugabe's inner circle to be relaxed

22-Mar-2013 @ 14:0

Geoffrey Van Orden Geoffrey Van Orden

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Following what southern African observers have described as a 'peaceful and credible' referendum on Zimbabwe's
Constitution, there are now moves to lift the EU 'restrictive measures' on most of the Mugabe supporters that had previously been banned from Europe and had their assets frozen. Only 10 individuals (from the 91 previously banned) and two companies will remain on the list.

Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, Chairman of the European Parliament 'Friends of Zimbabwe' group, who has long spearheaded the Parliament's campaign for freedom and democratic change in Zimbabwe, commented:

"We recognise that there has been some movement in the right direction and this needs to be reinforced. The referendum was just a first step. The really important event will be the elections later in the year.

"Our concern now is that all the processes connected with the elections should be carried out fairly and correctly and that campaigning is free from violence and intimidation.

"A reduction in the restrictive measures is just about acceptable provided they can be quickly reimposed if there is any sign of violence, intimidation or manipulation of the electoral process. My understanding is that this is exactly what has been agreed.

"The changes meet the wishes of other African countries and will signal to ZANU-PF insiders and to army and police chiefs that they have nothing to fear from real democratic change.

"The ball is now in Mugabe's court."

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