By Anna Chibamu
FOREIGN AFFAIRS Minister Sibusiso Moyo says government welcomes the European Union’s decision to ease sanctions imposed on the country but felt the measures were unjustified and outdated.
On Monday the Council on European Union suspended restrictive measures against four individuals but kept in place the arms embargo and asset freeze against Zimbabwe Defence Industries.
Minister Moyo acknowledged the progress made in the re-engagement process between Zimbabwe and the EU hoping there would be more political engagements with the block.
“We have taken note of European Union’s position with regard to its long-standing sanctions regime against Zimbabwe, and welcome its decision to further ease, albeit only slightly, those measures.
“We maintain that these and other sanctions measures imposed against Zimbabwe are unjustified and outdated; that they actually hinder our reform trajectory; and that all such measures should be removed especially at a time when government is confronted by the daunting consequences of natural disaster and devastating drought,” said Moyo.
Minister Moyo said Harare was committed to a reform agenda drafted by its former allies but was quick to caution this was not achievable in a short period.
“We are fully committed to this reform agenda. That reform agenda is a process rather than an event and it will take time to complete,” he said.
He promised to engage the EU and pursue the re-engagement process and move out of a strained relations that exists between the former allies.
“We look forward to continuing political engagement with the EU under the recently resumed Article 8 Dialogue Process scheduled for June this year.
“Our emphasis, as Zimbabwe, is to move on from what has been a troubled relationship with the EU and by way of new political and economic course articulated by his Excellency, the President to forge an effective partnership free from all such historical impediments and baggage.”
The EU and America have in the past urged the Emmerson Mnangagwa led administration to implement political and economic reforms after massive rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by state agents against civilians.