According to media reports yesterday, Van Rompuy, who was speaking during the EU-South Africa summit, noted that Zimbabwe’s moves to create a new constitution as part of a road map to elections, was a process launched by the inclusive Government formed by President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in February last year.
“In case of positive developments in Zimbabwe we would be ready to look at fresh measures,” said Van Rompuy.
“The EU wants to give Zimbabwe chances of success,” said the president of the 27-nation bloc, noting that the EU as a whole had offered US$365m over the last 18 months to projects in Zimbabwe aimed at better governance. The EU imposed the sanctions in 2002, in violation of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which provides guidelines on relations between Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific nations, with the EU.
The EU last year again slapped a 12-month extension of its sanctions against Harare, which include an embargo on arms and police weaponry, as well as the travel ban on President Mugabe and some senior Government officials.
EU’s latest move comes amid calls by South African President Jacob Zuma who reiterated on Tuesday for the lifting of the illegal economic sanctions the European Union imposed against Zimbabwe.
In his address to the third annual South Africa-EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium, President Zuma, who is also Sadc facilitator to the inclusive Government, indicated that they had discussed the situation in Zimbabwe and Sudan.
This sanctions followed a decision by President Mugabe’s Government to embark on a revolutionary fast-track land reform programme that saw nearly 300 000 black families benefiting from farms formerly held by a handful of white farmers. That programme drew the ire of Britain, which influenced its allies to agree to the discredited sanctions on Zimbabwe. The US has also placed a similar embargo through its sanctions law, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, which essentially remains in force until land tenure patterns revert to the pre-1998 model.
The sanctions bar Americans working for multilateral financial institutions from extending any money to Zimbabwe and also prohibit American firms from trading with their counterparts here.