Friday, March 22, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) SA MPs want Zimbabwe sanctions lifted

SA MPs want Zimbabwe sanctions lifted
21/03/2013 00:00:00
by Xinhua

SOUTH African MPs on Wednesday called for a total removal of sanctions and restrictions imposed by the European Union (EU) against Zimbabwe. The Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation (PCIRC) said it is of the firm view that these sanctions and restrictions "have a negative impact on Zimbabwe's economic and political situation."

"It is clear that, in spite of the gradual removal of restrictions and sanctions, their impact on improving the political situation is yet to be felt by the people of Zimbabwe, hence our call to lift all restrictions and sanctions," said Tisetso Magama, chairperson of the committee. An unconditional removal of the restrictions and sanctions will help a great deal in the development of Zimbabwe and its people, added Magama.

The committee's call came amid reports that the EU is planning to lift some sanctions against Zimbabwe after it held a credible referendum on the new draft constitution on March 16.

More than 100 Zimbabwean prominent individuals have been under the EU travel ban and assets freeze since 2002.

The sanctions were originally imposed a decade ago in response to alleged incidents of human rights abuses and political violence.

[They were installed to make land reform fail, and to create a negative example for the rest of Africa, that they should not overturn their colonial land ownership patterns. - MrK]

Ebrahim Ebrahim, Deputy Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), said the Zimbabwean referendum was credible, as all 78 SADC (Southern African Development Community) observers agreed that it was fair and transparent.

While congratulating the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission and Zimbabweans for holding a credible referendum, the PCIRC remained concerned about isolated incidents of torture and intimidation reported during the referendum period.

"We condemn these incidents. They should not be happening at all," said Magama.

The committee further commended the good work by SADC, the South African government and other stakeholders for the successful holding of the referendum, as part of the process towards holding of harmonised elections later this year.

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