The European Union Cease A 13-Year-Long Sanction On Zimbabwe With A $267 M Financial Aid
The European Union (EU) was locked in a 13-year-long stalemate with Zimbabwe. That led to an asset freeze of Southern Africa country leader, Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace. The EU also slapped Zimbabwe with an arms embargo, shunned the government and restrictive all funding to the country except for charity purposes.
However, all this might soon change if the recent announcement of a €234 million ($267 m) financial aid by EU to Zimbabwe is anything to go by. The EU ambassador to the Southern Africa country, Philippe Van Damme, was quoted saying during a signing ceremony; that this development marked a new beginning in EU’s relationship with Zimbabwe. He was, however, categorical in cautioning that there might be new problems that could emerge between the two in the future.
“Does this mean that everything is suddenly sorted out and that we are entering a new honeymoon? No, we have cleared some obstacles in our partnership, and as in any partnership new problems may emerge, old problems may reappear,” said Van Damme.
The ruling party in Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF, has been demanding for a long time that the EU should remove all the sanction imposed on the country, terming the act by EU as illegal.
Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, said the EU’s financial aid marked an important step towards the mending EU-Zimbabwe ties. He however, maintained that the sanctions imposed on the Country’s leader, Robert Mugabe and his wife and a hurtful factor towards the strengthening of the ties between the two.
Chinamasa said, “As long as the chief executive (Mugabe) remains under sanctions, our relations remain poisoned and unproductive.”
The EU said that half of that money will be released this year, and used in improving health care, agro-economic activities, institution-building and improving governance.