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European Union to Resume Aid to Zimbabwe After 13 Year Hiatus

FILE: European Council President Donald Tusk speaks during a media conference after an EU summit in Brussels, Dec. 18, 2014.

The European Union is next week expected to resume direct aid to the Zimbabwe government after a 13 year hiatus.

The 28-member EU bloc is expected to sign a $266 million national indicative progamme with Harare to fund a number of projects that include health and the constitutional alignment.

The EU in 2002 suspended direct funding to the Harare government accusing it of electoral fraud and human rights abuses. But Harare says the EU imposed sanctions on the country after Zimbabwe embarked on its land reform programme by seizing land from the minority whites and giving it to the majority blacks.

Last year, the EU suspended sanctions on eight of Zimbabwe's most powerful military and political figures but kept them on President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, in a cautious easing of its policy.

EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Phillipe van Damme, said the deal will be sealed soon with Harare to support government programmes.

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But political analyst Rashweat Mukundu, a board member of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said the EU must not give Harare a blank cheque.

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