WASHINGTON DC —
Australia joined the United States and the European Union in maintaining sanctions against President Robert Mugabe, his wife and the country’s service chiefs, saying not much has changed in the country following the 2013 elections for Canberra to scrap them.
Also still on the list of the so-called targeted measures is the Zimbabwe Defence Industries (Pvt) Ltd. Last year Australia dropped most of the Zanu PF politicians and companies who were on its sanctions list, leaving the president’s family and the service chief on the targeted list.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop released the new list on Tuesday saying the army, police and intelligence chiefs remain on the embargoed list together with the first family.
The sanctions were imposed in 2002 with the West charging Zanu PF was rigging elections and failing to respect human rights, a charge the former liberation party dismisses saying the main reason of the so-called targeted measures was the land reform program.
Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said Zanu PF will not lose any sleep over the extension of the targeted measures.
Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga of the Human Rights Watch said it is important that countries like Australia continue to express their opinions of the situation in Zimbabwe through the so-called targeted measures.