from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE European Union (EU) has expressed commitment to re-engage with Zimbabwe, ending almost 20 years of hostilities after human rights violations by the deposed government of Robert Mugabe.
EU’s willingness to support the Southern African country follows the new administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa (75) taking over from Mugabe (93) in the wake of his resignation in November last year.
His departure after over 37 years in power followed intervention by the military as Mugabe and a faction within Zanu-PF lined up his wife, Grace, to succeed him.
The latter part of his reign saw relations with Europe, whom Mugabe accused of attempting regime change in Zimbabwe, strained.
A spokesperson of the EU has reaffirmed the bloc’s willingness to support the planning and implementation of much-needed structural changes and the promotion of good governance in Zimbabwe.
“In this context, the EU will support the authorities in establishing as soon as possible a constructive re-engagement with international financial institutions based on a clear and time-bound economic and political reform programme,” the spokesperson stated from Brussels, Belgium.
However, support by Europe hinges on the return of the rule of law and wider and holding of credible elections later this year.
The EU would consider electoral observation, provided the required conditions were fulfilled and an invitation was received from Mnangagwa’s government.
Mugabe had refused to invite EU to observe elections after it accused his administration of electoral fraud and violent farm seizures since 2000.
EU slapped Mugabe and his inner circle with targeted sanctions and asset freezes.
The upcoming electoral process will thus be an essential step in the revival of ties, EU stated.
“EU stands ready to review the whole range of its policies towards Zimbabwe at any moment to take into account the progress achieved in the country.”
– CAJ News