EU to ‘extend’ Zimbabwe sanctions: report
This article was written by Our reporter on 16 July, at 03 : 11 AM
THE UK Parliament will this week hear calls to extend sanctions on Zimbabwe despite last week’s reports that the European Union are poised to suspend a variety of punitive measures in a bid to encourage reform.
British Labour Party politician and member of parliament, Peter Hain, will claim that President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party are planning election violence to keep the rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) from power, using money from the country’s diamonds.
The former cabinet minister will highlight a report by Global Witness which claims that Sam Pa, a Chinese businessman, has provided funding and equipment to Zimbabwe’s secret police in return for access to diamond deposits.
These claims have not been substantiated.
A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said “there was no question” of lifting sanctions on President Mugabe.
A report by The Telegraph newspaper last week claimed that Western diplomats have said that conditions could be lifted on the president if certain conditions are met.
He said that while the body was “reflecting” on its policy towards Zimbabwe, following a call for sanctions to be lifted by the UN Human Rights Chief, regional mediator President Jacob Zuma and prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the president of Zimbabwe would not be among those given a reprieve.
Zanu-PF had expressed skepticism about the report that claimed that the EU was revisiting the issue of sanctions.
The party wants the sanctions lifted unconditionally.
At Tuesday’s Westminster debate Mr Hain will claim that Sam Pa has provided the funding and equipment to Zimbabwe’s ‘secret police’ in return for access to diamond deposits in eastern Marange.
But Mr Hain, a former Minister for Africa, will push for the sanctions not only to remain but to be extended to those allegedly involved in the country’s secretive diamonds trade.
“More than enough damage has been done already to the wonderful people of Zimbabwe, as a once-prosperous country has been reduced to penury,” Mr Hain will say.
“Let us ensure we do not perpetuate that terrible damage by premature suspensions of these highly targeted sanctions, especially on those responsible for the Marange blood diamonds, when the imperative is to impose more not less.”
[The Kimberly Process representative has long ago found that there are no 'blood diamonds' because the concept doesn't even apply to the Zimbabwean situation, but former minister Peter Hain knows better? It was Peter Hain's boyfriend, Peter Tatchell, who put a 'citizens arrest' on President Mugabe back in 1999, which undoubtedly increased the radicalisation and polarisation. - MrK]
In report last month entitled Funding a Parallel Government? Global Witness alleged that Sam Pa was awarded a diamond concession after donating up to $100m and 200 military trucks to Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation.
Sino Zimbabwe Development, a joint venture between the state-owned Zimbabwe Minerals Development Corporation and Mr Pa, was also said to have on its board three officials from the CIO which, Global Witness claimed, may be planning a military campaign aimed at stopping Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T from taking power.
The same group also claims that Anjin Investments, another joint diamond venture between Chinese and Zimbabwean companies, was being run by senior defence officials.
Mr Hain is calling for EU sanctions to be extended to include those named in Global Witness’ reports.
“There is a real risk that any money given by Sam Pa, Anjin and Sino Zimbabwe Development to the security forces will fund human rights abuses in the run-up to next year’s election,” he will say.
“By all means, if the intention is a to wave a carrot and not just a stick, then suspend a symbolic sanction on the partner of a Zanu official or two – but make sure that substantive sanctions such as asset freezes on Anjin and Sam Pa are imposed so the security forces cannot build a war chest before the election.”
However, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief said that while the body was “reflecting” on its policy towards Zimbabwe, “There is no question of lifting sanctions (an asset freeze and travel ban) against (President) Mugabe or anyone involved in … incitement to violence, etc — that is simply not up for discussion”.