The European Union on Friday eased travel bans on two Zimbabwean ministers, six journalists and 20 companies, in a move aimed at normalising frosty relations between the bloc and the southern African nation.
Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa and his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, were the only two ministers from President Robert Mugabe’s party to have travel restrictions imposed on them eased. The two are part of a re-engagement committee between Zimbabwe and the EU, which is trying to mend a relationship that turned sour in 2002 following a violent presidential election.
Europe accused Mugabe, his Zanu PF party and allied companies of unleashing a reign of terror on their political opponents, leading to a breakdown of law and order, human rights abuses and disrespect for the rule of law.
The sanctions and asset freeze were meant to force Mugabe and his allies to reform. Since the formation of a coalitio government, Zimbabwe has been lobbying the EU to remove the sanctions and set up a committee headed by Chinamasa and Mumbengegwi.
The EU said the lifting of the restrictions was in response to the progress Zimbabwe had made and was meant to encourage further reforms in the southern African nation.
In a statement the EU said it stood ready “to reconsider the measures at any time in response to concrete progress in the implementation of the GPA and the preparation of credible and peaceful elections”. But removal from the sanctions list of his two lieutenants will come as scarce consolation to Mugabe, who blames the restrictive measures for Zimbabwe’s economic and social collapse.
But while those Zanu PF members who have been removed from the list may celebrate, a time of uncertainty beckons, as there are fears that they may be accused of being sell outs. Coincidentally some of those who are no longer under the EU embargo are the same people who were accused of hobnobbing with American embassy officials, revealing the party’s secrets.
Anti-secrecy organisation, WikiLeaks revealed that the late, Solomon Mujuru, the country’s first army general, former Information Minister, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and former adviser to the central bank, Munyaradzi Kereke had confided in the Americans, yet their names appear again.
While most of those named by WikiLeaks escaped with nothing more than a rap on the hands, many fear that Mugabe’s response this time may be unpredictable and a backlash might be in the offing.
Mujuru led a faction hoping to succeed Mugabe and was often seen as reformist within the party, while in one of leaked cables Ndlovu chided the US for keeping him on the sanctions list, yet he provided them with useful information. This might only serve to fuel the Zimbabwean leader’s fury, as he has often accused the EU of trying to oust him, and his associates who have been removed from the list may as well as be accused of supping with the devil.
Two years ago Tourism Minister, Walter Mzembi, a member of Mugabe’s party, was accused of being a sell out after his name was omitted from an updated EU sanctions list. The six state media journalists are Caesar Zvayi and Munyaradzi Huni, Pikirayi Deketeke, Reuben Barwe, Judith Makwanya, freelancer Musorowegomo Mukosi.
A total of 112 individuals and 11 companies remain on the EU list.
“The European Union is committed to supporting the peaceful progress and democratic development of the people of Zimbabwe,” EU spokesman, Catherine Ashton said. She welcomed progress made “towards the creation of a conducive environment for the holding of free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections” through a roadmap sponsored by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).
Ashton said the 27 member bloc decided to extend the restrictions on development assistance for only six months with a view to begin preparing for enhanced cooperation as and when these measures can be lifted.
But analysts say that the majority of people removed are light weights in Zanu PF power politics and the companies not known.
The list also includes people who died over the past year, among them Mujuru and former Harare governor David Karimanzira.
Name (and any aliases) Number in Council Decision 2011/101/CFSP
• Barwe, Reuben 3
• Bredenkamp, John Arnold 5
• Chimbudzi, Alice 15
• Chimedza, Paul 16
• Chimutengwende, Chenhamo Chekezha 17
• Chinamasa, Monica 18
• Chiremba, Mirirai 24
• Chitakunye, Eliphas 25
• Chiwenga, Jocelyn 27
• Chiwewe, Willard 29
• Chiwese, George 28
• Deketeke, Pikirayi 31
• Dube, Tshinga Judge 33
• Gumbo, Rugare Eleck Ngidi 36
• Hungwe, Josaya (a.k.a. Josiah) Dunira 39
• Hungwe, Josaya (a.k.a. Josiah) Dunira 39
• Huni, Munyaradzi 40
• Karimanzira, David Ishemunyoro Godi 43
• Kazembe, Joyce Laetitia 46
• Kereke, Munyaradzi 47
• Mahoso, Tafataona 58
• Makwanya, Judith 59
• Makwavarara, Sekesai 60
• Manyonda, Kenneth Vhundukai 63
• Matanyaire, Munyaradzi 67
• Mavhaire, Dzikamai 72
• Mbiriri, Partson 73
• Mombeshora, Millicent Sibongile 79
• Moyo, July Gabarari 82
• Muchechetere, Happison 88
• Mudzvova, Paul 96
• Mugabe, Leo 98
• Mujuru, Solomon T.R. 101
• Mukosi, Musoro Wegomo 102
• Mumbengegwi, Samuel Creighton 104
• Mutasa, Gertrude 110
• Mutasa, Justin Mutsawehuni 111
• Mutiwekuziva, Kenneth Kaparadza 114
• Muzenda, Tsitsi V. 116
• Muzonzini, Elisha 117
• Ncube, Abedinico 120
• Ndlovu, Sikhanyiso 121
• Nkala, Herbert 124
• Nyawani, Misheck 128
• Patel, Bharat 132
• Rautenbach, Muller Conrad (a.k.a. Billy) 134
• Sakabuya, Morris 138
• Samkange, Nelson Tapera Crispen 140
• Sandi, Eunice Moyo 141
• Shumba, Isaiah Masvayamwando 148
• Utete, Charles 159
• Zvayi, Caesar 163
• Alpha International (PVT) Ltd
• Breco (Asia Pacific) Ltd
• Breco (Eastern Europe) Ltd
• Breco (South Africa) Ltd
• Breco (UK) Ltd
• Breco Group
• Breco International
• Breco Nominees Ltd
• Breco Services Ltd
• Corybantes Ltd
• Echo Delta Holdings
• Masters International Ltd
• Ndlovu Motorways
• Piedmont (UK) Ltd
• Raceview Enterprises
• Ridgepoint Overseas Developments Ltd (a.k.a. Ridgepoint Overseas Developments Ltd)
• Scottlee Holdings (PVT) Ltd
• Scottlee Resorts Ltd
• Timpani Export Ltd
• Tremalt Ltd
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