The European parliament on Thursday resolved to step up pressure on President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to take action to halt to human rights violations there.
The EU Parliament also resolved to encourage Mr. Mugabe to adhere to the terms of the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing, basis of power sharing in Harare, through engagement with the Southern African Development Community.
Buoyed by SADC's recent reproach to Mr. Mugabe over political violence in Zimbabwe, European lawmakers resolved to step up cooperation with Southern African countries, especially South Africa, to prevent intimidation related to upcoming elections.
The Euro-parliament in a statement said it does not think an early election would resolve Zimbabwe’s outstanding issues, as conditions are not in place for free elections.
The lawmakers also touched on Zimbabwe’s constitutional reform process, urging all the political parties to re-engage in this process with a view to produce a basic document before any election which will be acceptable to all Zimbabweans.
European parliamentarians condemned the recent surge in rights abuses in Zimbabwe, including the prosecution of ministers from the Movement for Democratic Change wing of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,saying those under arrest should be released.
Welcoming the communiqué issued by SADC's troika on politics, defense and security in Livingstone, Zambia, last week, the EU Parliament urged countries in the bloc to leave in place sanctions targeting Mr. Mugabe and his inner circle of supporters.
It also insisted that "the Zimbabwean people should be given freedom of expression and of assembly, that all intimidation of politicians and civil society activists should cease and that every elected representative, irrespective of political persuasion, as well as NGOs, political activists, the press and ordinary citizens should be able to freely express their opinions without fear of violent persecution, arbitrary imprisonment of torture."
European Member of Parliament Geoffrey Van Orden of the United Kingdom told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that such resolutions recognize that Zimbabwe’s problems must be resolved by Zimbabwe and its regional neighbors.
Meanwhile, an official of the Zimbabwean parliamentary committee responsible for revising the constitution said a draft could be ready for approval by Parliament and the nation by September 30 now that another US$9 million in funding has been provided by the Harare government and international sponsors.
Select Committee Co-Chairman Douglas Mwonzora said that contrary to articles in the state-controlled Herald newspaper saying a referendum can be held before the end of September, only a draft constitution can realistically be prepared by then.
President Mugabe and ZANU-PF want national elections this year while the Movement for Democratic Change says much remains to be done to prepare the ground.
Mwonzora told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that a month was lost in the process due to his recent arrest and detention on charges of political violence.