Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fund sanctions litigation, Govt told
December 17, 2013
Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

THE 14th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference held in Chinhoyi last week urged Government to provide adequate funding for the case in which Zimbabwe is challenging the legality of the sanctions by the European Union at the General Court of the European Court of Justice.

The case was filed by the then Attorney-General Johannes Tomana — who is now the Prosecutor-General — in 2011 and is being led by a team of lawyers comprising Mr David Vaughan, Mr Maya Lester Robin Loof and Zimbabwean lawyers Mr Farai Mutamangira and Mr Gerald Mlotshwa.

“Government should take concrete measures, including making available requisite funding, to support the sanctions litigation instituted by the Attorney-General in Brussels against the EU,” the revolutionary party said in its resolutions. The court challenge is expected to cost at least US$5 million but former Finance Minister Tendai Biti was reluctant to fund the suit.

Yesterday Mr Tomana said they were still waiting for the set down date.

“Nothing has changed from the previous update, we are still waiting for the set down date,” he said.

The matter was brought to the Eighth Chamber (of the General Court of the European Court of Justice) in October where its set down date will be given.

The EU’s illegal sanctions regime was imposed in violation of the Cotonou Agreement which governs relations between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

The Zimbabwe Government also argues that the EU did not communicate its decision to people and companies on the sanctions list as required by its own regulations.

Besides disregarding its own regulations, the bloc also contravened international law when it imposed the illegal sanctions in 2002 and continued to extend them outside UN statutes.

China and Russia vetoed Britain and its Western allies’ bid to have the UN Security Council legalise the sanctions.

The EU imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe as a direct response to the fast track land reform meant to correct ownership imbalances caused by colonialism.

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