Western block, the European Union (EU) has renewed arms embargoes against the Zimbabwe Defence Industries citing human rights abuses by the African country’s security sector.
Zimbabwe’s security sector went under spotlight soon after elections 2 years ago, with the military being deployed to stop riots on the country’s streets.
“The EU has decided to renew its arms embargo and to maintain a targeted assets freeze against one company, Zimbabwe Defence Industries, for one year, taking into account the situation in Zimbabwe, including the yet to be investigated alleged role of the armed and security forces in human rights abuses,” the western block says in a statement.
EU, however, suspended Grace Mugabe from the restrictive measures as well as personnel with military backgrounds including Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Philip Valerio Sibanda and retired Air Marshall Perence Shiri.
Zimbabwe government has been blaming the EU and US sanctions for the economic download in the Southern African country.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Sibusiso Moyo is on the recording stating that Zimbabwe lost bilateral donor support estimated at about $4.5 billion annually since 2001 and US$ 12 billion in the IMF (International Monetary Fund), World Bank (WB) and African Development Bank (AfDB) which could have developed infrastructure in that country.
EU, however, says, “The arms embargo, as well as the asset freeze against Zimbabwe Defence Industries, do not affect the Zimbabwean economy, foreign direct investment, or trade,”
“They are motivated by the EU’s intention to encourage a demonstrable commitment by the Zimbabwean authorities to upholding the rule of law and human rights.”
The block says sound political and economic governance are paramount if the business and investment climate in Zimbabwe is to be improved, and inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development are to be achieved.
“The EU calls on the government to accelerate the political and economic reform process as a matter of urgency, for the benefit of its population,” EU says.
“Perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses should swiftly be brought to justice and the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry should be implemented without further delay.”
“In addition, an inclusive national dialogue is key to finding structural and durable solutions to the challenges faced by Zimbabwe.”