The European Union (EU) has suspended sanctions on 81 Zanu-PF officials after the holding of the March 16 constitutional referendum which the bloc described as “peaceful, successful and credible”.
Acting EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Carl Skau, told reporters that the European Union decided to remove restrictions against 81 people and eight companies although President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace, two companies - Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and Zimbabwe Defence Industries, and most of the securocrats still remain on the list.
Skau expressed concern at the recent arrest of human rights defenders including lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa.
Others who remained on the sanctions list include Director General Central Intelligence Organisation Happton Bonyongwe, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constatine Guveya Chiwenga, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Didymus Mutasa, Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba, Air Marshal Perence Shiri, Zimbabwe National Army Commander Valerio Philip Sibanda and National War Veterans Organisation leader Jabulani Sibanda.
Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director, Pedzisai Ruhanya, said he is not surprised by the EU’s decision to leave President Mugabe and securocrats on the list.
The EU imposed sanctions President Mugabe and some senior Zanu-PF officials in 2002 for alleged human rights violations and election rigging.
Mr. Mugabe and his party have persistently called for the total and unconditional removal of restrictive measures saying they are illegal and hurting ordinary Zimbabweans.