Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo has responded to a statement issued by the European Union exonerating Grace Mugabe and three other top Zimbabwe officials from sanctions.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Valerio Sibanda and Agricultural Minister Perence Shiri, were removed from the EU sanctions list. All three have a background in the military.
“We have taken note of European Union’s position with regard to its long-standing sanctions regime against Zimbabwe, and welcome its decision to further ease, albeit only slightly, those measures,” Moyo said.
“We view this development as an acknowledgement of progress made in terms of the broad reform agenda we have set ourselves, and to which are fully committed.”
The Minister, revealing that the next EU-Zimbabwe dialogue will be in June 2020, looks forward to continuing political engagement with the European Union under the recently-resumed Article8 Dialogue process.
“As we pursue our policy of re-engagement with all those who, for whatever reason, elected to distance themselves from us, our emphasis extends considerably beyond the political and, increasingly, is focused on the promotion of economic ties and on the identification of mutually-beneficial trade and investment opportunities,” he said.
“Together with a number of other Eastern and Southern African countries, we have agreed to negotiate to significant expansion of the existing Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, giving ourselves the possibility of considerably enhanced access to lucrative EU markets.”
“Our emphasis, as Zimbabwe, is to move on from what has been a troubled relationship with the European Union and by way of the new political and economic course articulated by His Excellency the President, to forge an effective partnership free from all such historical impediments and baggage” Moyo went on.
The Minister, however, maintains that sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe are unjustified and outdated.
“We are of course, grateful for the support and assistance being provided by the European Union to bolster Government’sown efforts to ensure food security for all,” Moyo said.