[Marxism] EU ADMITS, SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON ZIMBABWE -- OVER LAND
james.irldaly at ntlworld.com
Mon Jul 3 06:41:29 MDT 2006
EU ADMITS, SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON ZIMBABWE -- OVER LAND
EU Admits Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe over Land
June 28, 2006
THE European Union has for the first time admitted that it imposed
sanctions on Zimbabwe not because of alleged human rights violations
but because of the bilateral land dispute between the Southern African
country and Britain.
This was revealed by the Alliance for Liberal and Democrats (ALDE)
Group of the European Parliament during the just-ended
African-Caribbean-Pacific-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Vienna,
Zimbabwe was represented by Masvingo South legislator Cde Walter
Mzembi (Zanu-PF), who was head of the delegation.
Other members were Chirumanzu-Kwekwe-Silobela Senator Cde Clarissa
Muchengeti (Zanu-PF) and Kuwadzana MP Mr Nelson Chamisa (MDC).
During the plenary session the ALDE Group which was represented by Mr
Johan Van Hecke, a Netherlands legislator, posed an oral question to
the European Council of Ministers on why China was investing in
Zimbabwe in view of the sanctions imposed by the West over the land
Mr Van Hecke said China had set its eyes on African raw materials for
its rapidly expanding economy, adding that one-third of the Asian
country' s oil supplies come from Africa.
He said the Chinese were not only interested in oil and raw materials,
as they were actively involved in various sectors of the economy that
included telecommunications, public works and timber industry.
"In 2002, they began to invest in Zimbabwe after the West imposed
sanctions following President Mugabe' s controversial land reform.
Four years later, they are firmly established in various sectors of
the Zimbabwean economy.
"What view does the Council take of the way China has cornered part of
the African market, employing a moral code very different from that
adhered by the EU? Does the Council plan to take measures to combat
this development, and if so, what measures and when?" asked Mr Van
Cde Mzembi said before the EU Council of Ministers responded to the
question he sought for a private meeting with the ALDE group in which
he congratulated them for revealing that the sanctions had been
imposed on Zimbabwe not because of alleged human rights violations but
because of the land issue.
"It then dawned on the group that they had shot themselves in the foot
and when the time came for the Council to respond to the question they
(ALDE Group) chickened out of the plenary session," he said.
Zimbabwe was then denied the chance to respond to the question since
procedurally a response to a question can only be given in the
presence of those who would have asked such a question.
Questions on the EU side were being addressed to Mr Louis Michel,
member of the European Commission for Development and Humanitarian, Mr
Peter Mandelson, a member of the EC responsible for External Trade and
President of the European Parliament Mr Joseph Borrell Fontelles.
On the ACP side, questions were being addressed to the President in
Office of the ACP Council of Ministers Mr Onofre Rojas, who is also
the Secretary of State of the Dominican Republic.
Cde Mzembi said after Zimbabwe was refused the right to respond to the
question posed by the ALDE group, it then circulated a communique to
the 150 members of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on the
country' s response.
In the response, Cde Mzembi pointed out that the EU had over the years
claimed that sanctions had been imposed following the Government' s
disregard for democratic principles and the rule of law.
"From the beginning, the Government of Zimbabwe has unequivocally
stated that the EU was accusing it of such transgressions simply as a
cover to punish it for the redistribution of land from the white
minority to the majority black population.
"There were no violations of human rights, the democratic principles
and the rule of law. Zimbabwe is grateful that Mr Van Hecke and the
ALDE Group have finally and publicly acknowledged that the real reason
for sanctions had nothing to do with morality," he said.
"They have reaffirmed the Government of Zimbabwe's position that the
sole reason for sanctions was the protection of the interests of the
kith and kin, a minority 4 500 white commercial farmers, at the
expense of 13 million Zimbabweans."
On the issue of China investing in Zimbabwe, Cde Mzembi said the Asian
country was competing with the West for abundant natural resources in
The rules of engagement in global trade, he said, were premised on
competing national interests, adding that the West should brace up for
Cde Mzembi pointed out that relations between Zimbabwe and China dated
back to the liberation struggle with the latter having supported the
former' s struggle for democracy, self-determination and restoration
The lawmaker said notwithstanding the sanctions, Britain remained the
biggest investor in Zimbabwe, particularly in the mining and
British companies were also consolidating their presence in the
Zimbabwe, Cde Mzembi said, remained committed to engaging other
members of the international community on the basis of mutual respect
and sovereign equality.
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