By Anna Chibamu
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has been urged to continue with his reform agenda and push for better relations with the European Union (EU).
EU managing director for Africa Koen Vervaeke, who was visiting Zimbabwe last weekend in a statement Tuesday, after meeting government and opposition officials said the implementation of the reform will guarantee better livelihoods for Zimbabweans.
“Based on extensive discussions with my interlocutors, we hope that the commitment to take the reform process in Zimbabwe forward and to address the violent events of the recent past will translate into tangible action.
“Implementing political and economic reforms is crucial for the country to enter into a positive trajectory, and a broad national consensus would cement internal support. Progress on the reforms will also offer space for a strengthened partnership with the EU,” Vervaeke said.
“Zimbabwe has to continue on the path of reform and engagement in order to enhance not only relations between Brussels and Harare, but also the livelihoods of Zimbabweans.”
The EU still has sanctions on former President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace and the Zimbabwe Defense Industries imposed at the turn of the century over accusations of electoral fraud and human right abuses.
In the discussions, Vervaeke said he engaged on matters of significant concerns regarding the country’s situation, particularly in terms of addressing the consequences of Cyclone Idai and the food security crisis where the EU is supporting.
The EU’s council ministers early February resolved not to extent sanctions against senior officials in Mnangagwa’s administration.
However, a spokesperson for the EU said, the decision could be reviewed should the situation in Zimbabwe show signs of deterioration.
During his visit, Vervaeke met Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo, Justice’s Ziyambi Ziyambi, Foreign Affairs secretary James Manzou his Justice counterpart Virginia Mabhizaand MDC president Nelson Chamisa as well as the Human Rights Commission.