The grave economic and social consequences of the sanctions have caused deep suffering among the Zimbabwean people, in particular among the poorer members of society, by restricting employment, social services provision and development opportunities” : Mario David (PPE)
“We can call it an “incentives bill” but that does not change its essential “sanctions” nature. It is racist and against the interest of the masses of Zimbabwe” : Hon. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia in the House of Representatives (USA) ON ZIDERA.
Parliamentary questions : 9 January 2014 P-000143-14 : Question for written answer to the Council : Rule 117: Mário David (PPE)
Subject: Lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe
Twelve years have passed since the EU adopted measures under Council Decision 2002/148/EC to suspend cooperation with Zimbabwe, and gradual steps have been taken by the Government of Zimbabwe and the opposition to restore the country’s political and economic stability. These include the signing, under the mediation of the Heads of State and Government of the South African Development Community (SADC), of the 2009 Global Political Agreement between the ZANU-PF and MDC groupings which led to the establishment of a Government of National Unity (GNU), and the subsequent adoption of a new constitution on the basis of a national referendum on 16 March 2013. Council Decision 2012/97/CFSP of 17 February 2012 recognised that the creation of the GNU afforded an opportunity to re-establish a constructive relationship between the EU and Zimbabwe. More recently, the EU has given an undertaking to respect both the outcome of the Harmonised Elections of 31 July 2013 and the assessment of those elections by the ACP Group, SADC and African Union observation missions. The elections that were deemed by most international observers as the most free, fair and peaceful to have been held in Zimbabwe’s history were, to the surprise of the international community, those that gave President Robert Mugabe and the ZANU-PF the largest and most credible victory.
Since then, EU sanctions have been eased on several occasions. On 23 September 2013, the EU decided to withdraw the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation from the sanctions list.
The grave economic and social consequences of the sanctions have caused deep suffering among the Zimbabwean people, in particular among the poorer members of society, by restricting employment, social services provision and development opportunities. When the EU reviews the subject in February 2014, it will be time for it to lift the sanctions against Zimbabwe and to restart mutual political and economic cooperation in all fields, which will only prove beneficial to both sides. The EU should not employ double standards in dealing with its partners.
If the EU were to appraise respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law seriously and coherently, how many countries would face sanctions? No matter what kind of ‘excuses’ are found to justify the lifting of sanctions on the export of diamonds, no one would understand it to be anything but a hypocritical decision taken in the interests of the EU industry.
Does the Council agree that it is time for the EU to lift its sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe?
SPEECH OF HON. CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY OF GEORGIA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Tuesday, December 4, 2001
Ms. McKINNEY: Mr. Speaker, at the international Relations Committee meeting of November 28, 2001, which considered the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, I asked a question of my colleagues who were vociferously supporting this misdirected piece of legislation: “Can anyone explain how the people in question who now have the land in question in Zimbabwe got title to the land?”
My query was met with a deafening silence. Those who knew did not want to admit the truth and those who didn’t know should have known–that the land was stolen from its indigenous peoples through the British South Africa Company and any “titles” to it were illegal and invalid. Whatever the reason for their silence, the answer to this question is the unspoken but real reason for why the United States Congress is now concentrating its time and resources on squeezing an economically-devastated African state under the hypocritical guise of providing a “transition to democracy.”
Zimbabwe is Africa’s second-longest stable democracy. It is multi-party. It had elections last year where the opposition, Movement for Democratic Change, won over 50 seats in the parliament. It has an opposition press which vigorously criticizes the government and governing party. It has an independent judiciary which issues decisions contrary to the wishes of the governing party. Zimbabwe is not without troubles, but neither is the United States. I have not heard anyone proposing a United States Democracy Act following last year’s Presidential electoral debacle. And if a foreign country were to pass legislation calling for a United States Democracy Act which provided funding for United States opposition parties under the fig leaf of “Voter Education,” this body and this country would not stand for it.
There are many de jure and de facto one-party states in the world which are the recipients of support of the United States government. They are not the subject of Congressional legislative sanctions. To any honest observer, Zimbabwe’s sin is that it has taken the position to right a wrong, whose resolution has been too long overdue–to return its land to its people. The Zimbabwean government has said that a situation where 2 percent of the population owns 85 percent of the best land is untenable. Those who presently own more than one farm will no longer be able to do so.
When we get right down to it, this legislation is nothing more than a formal declaration of United States complicity in a program to maintain white-skin privilege. We can call it an “incentives” bill, but that does not change its essential “sanctions” nature. It is racist and against the interests of the masses of Zimbabweans. In the long-run the Zimbabwe Democracy Act will work against the United States having a mutually beneficial relationship with Africa.