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VP Chiwenga, Army Commander and Grace Mugabe Only Zimbabweans on EU Suspended Sanctions List

FILE: Constantino Chiwenga and army commander Philip Valerio Sibanda smile during the presidential inauguration ceremony in Harare, Zimbabwe, Nov. 24, 2017.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Philip Valerio Sibanda and former First Lady Grace Mugabe are the only three people on the European Union (EU) suspended restrictive measures, which were imposed on Zimbabwean officials linked to alleged voter fraud and human rights violations.

The EU last week released a statement, without elaborating, saying there were three Zimbabweans under the suspended restrictive measures.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, some securocrats and top Zanu PF officials are not on the suspended sanctions list.

Responding to questions over the unidentified individuals on the list, an EU spokesperson said, “The three individuals are Grace Mugabe; Constantine Chiwenga; Philip Valerio Sibanda; you can find more information in the Official Journal.”

The spokesperson said, “The specific restrictive measures in question are travel restrictions and freezing of funds and economic resources.”

On how the EU Council arrives at the decision to extend sanctions, the spokesperson said,

“Restrictive measures are laid down in Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Council decisions. After Member States have reached political agreement on the way ahead, a proposal is made by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This proposal is further examined and discussed by the relevant Council preparatory bodies and the decision is then adopted by the Council by unanimity. All restrictive measures in force are kept under constant review to ensure that they continue to contribute towards achieving their stated objectives.”

The spokesperson further noted that a proposed meeting with some Zimbabwean stakeholders on the restrictive measures was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Political Dialogue with Zimbabwe was postponed last December, due to the COVID-19 situation, and is going to rescheduled at the earliest occasion, once the situation allows for it.”

The European Union, United States, Britain and other countries imposed targeted sanctions on Zanu PF officials and some companies following claims of election rigging and human rights violations.