EU may reconsider Mugabes’ sanctions in February –Envoy

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Image result for Former President Robert MugabeFormer President Robert Mugabe will have to wait for the European Union’s annual meeting in February to know whether a travel ban issued against him will be lifted.

Brussels had scrapped most of its sanctions against Zimbabwean but maintains its measures, which  includes a travel ban, against Mugabe and wife, Grace.

The measures were imposed nearly two-decades ago as the international community responded to what was described as “gross human rights abuses and electoral fraud” by the Mugabe regime.

The ex-president, however, denied the allegations, saying instead that Zimbabwe was being punished for its land reforms.

Mugabe blamed the sanctions for the country’s economic collapse.

Critics, however, say the major damage was down to his incompetency.

EU envoy to Harare, Ambassador Philippe van Damme, recently told journalists that Mugabes’ sanctions would be considered when Brussels reviews the situation in Zimbabwe next month.

“Every year at this time, I am asked the same question and my answer remains the same.

“It (possible review) is council decision which will be made in February and I cannot prejudge what they will say,” said van Damme at a breakfast meeting in Harare last week.

The veteran leader’s 37-year presidency dramatically ended last November after the military took to the streets and his ruling Zanu-PF party recalled him as leader.

The 93-year-old has not spoken in public since his ouster. His last sighting was in Singapore, where he was photographed last month entering a local hospital.


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