EU says concerned by Zim’s continued rights violations

The European Union (EU) has expressed concern over the continued human rights violations in Zimbabwe and urged the government to conduct impartial investigations and bring perpetrators to justice.

This was one of the outcomes of the third EU-Zimbabwe Political Dialogue Meeting which took place in Harare yesterday.

The EU-Zimbabwe Political Dialogue was co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honorable Ambassador Frederick Shava, and the EU Head of Delegation to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Timo Olkkonen, who was joined by the Heads of Mission, Ambassadors of France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal as well as the Chargés d’Affaires of Romania, Spain, and Sweden and the First Secretary of the Embassy of Belgium.

Human rights groups have noted that cases of rights abuses escalated during the Covid-19 induced lockdown since March 2020. Some of the cases include the arrest and detention of activists, journalists and ordinary citizens such as the two Cowdray Park sisters who were brutally assaulted by police officers and 49-year-old Emmanuel Mavunge from Nkulumane suburb who was allegedly shot by police officers among other cases.

In a press statement, the EU said the meeting allowed for the continuation of discussions on topics that are of common interest and are priorities in EU-Zimbabwe relations. These included human rights, democratization, rule of law and good governance; economic developments and reforms, the investment climate and implementation of our free trade agreement, the Economic Partnership Agreement; development cooperation, humanitarian assistance and global and regional partnerships.

“The EU and its Member States expressed concern over a curtailed democratic space in Zimbabwe over the last year, and reports of continued violations of human rights such as reported cases of enforced disappearances and lengthy unjustified detentions, arrests of journalists and other limitations to the freedom of expression and the media,” read the statement.

“The EU urged the Government to conduct impartial investigations of human rights violations and bring perpetrators to justice.”

The EU also added that the fight against corruption is important for Zimbabwe to mitigate the humanitarian crisis.

“The EU acknowledged Government’s efforts to stabilize the economy and highlighted those economic reforms and the fight against corruption are paramount for Zimbabwe, in particular, to mitigate the humanitarian crisis, and improve the socio-economic situation,” said EU.

The EU also reaffirmed that it stands ready to continue to support the Zimbabwean people in the current challenges and that entering an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable growth path requires structural reforms by the Government.

The discussions also included exchanges on Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 response as well as the EU’s support and assistance.

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology

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