By Leopold Munhende
THE European Union (EU) has raised issue with Zimbabwean authorities over their tough handling of human rights in the country in the wake of fierce crackdown on opposition supporters by State police.
This was inadvertently revealed Tuesday by Information Minister Monica Mutsvwangwa during a post-cabinet media briefing at the Munhumutapa government offices in Harare.
According to the Minister, EU representatives met government recently where the matter was broached.
“The dialogue focused on key issues under the Zimbabwe/EU partnership namely progress on political, economic, legislative and electoral reforms, implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and the staff monitoring programme among many other issues,” said the government minister.
“Isolation from the international community was cited as one of the challenges that hamper government’s effort to implement reforms.
“A lot of common ground was achieved on issues encompassing alleged human rights abuses.”
The meeting was held a day after anti-riot police officers ruthlessly dispersed a crowd of MDC supporters who had come to witness party leader Nelson Chamisa give his Hope of the Nation Address outside the opposition’s main headquarters in central Harare.
The police heavy-handedness invited strong condemnation by local rights groups and Western nations closely watching events in the country.