THE European Union (EU) has ordered government to urgently and unconditionally release all its political prisoners and create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue with its citizens to avoid pushing the country into a state of anarchy.
In a joint motion for a resolution in the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, presented on Wednesday, the parliamentarians said it was premature to lift restrictive measures imposed on President Robert Mugabe’s regime over its poor human rights record.
“(EU) believes that the lifting of the bulk of restrictive measures was premature and that the council and commission should consider re-imposing certain measures, while making clear that these will be removed and that a package of assistance will be made available once Zimbabwe is clearly on the path towards democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, and specifying, in particular, that assistance will be provided to support a free and fair electoral process and police reform,” the EU said.
The bloc also condemned Mugabe’s recent attack on the judiciary.
“The people of Zimbabwe have suffered for many years under an authoritarian regime led by President Mugabe that maintains its power through corruption, violence, rigged elections and a brutal security apparatus; whereas the people of Zimbabwe have not experienced true freedom in decades and many under the age of 30 have, therefore, only known lives of poverty and violent repression,” the motion read.
The Parliament raised concern over the brutal suppression of demonstrations by police and called on Mugabe to investigate the allegations and bring the perpetrators to book.
“Hundreds of people have been arrested during demonstrations … on August 26, 2016, bloody clashes took place in the capital, Harare, when the police ignored a court order and bludgeoned thousands of protesters who had gathered under the auspices of the National Election Reform Agenda (Nera) to express their dissatisfaction over outstanding electoral reforms ahead of the country’s eagerly anticipated 2018 national elections… many of those who were detained are still in custody,” the motion reads.-AMH