EU Sanctions Removal: To say that I am shocked is an understatement.

I could not believe the news that despite heated debate, Zimbabwe’s Parliament voted for the Human Rights Commission Bill in its defective form.

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This means that The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission will not have power to investigate any of the political violence in 2008 let alone Operations Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, Hakudzokwi, Makavhotera Papi and so on.

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It means that survivors of state-sponsored and political violence including abduction, rape, torture, farm seizures, beatings and arson will have no-one to ask for compensation. It’s just ridiculous.

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I still cannot figure out how the scores of MDC MPs from both formations could be whipped into supporting a document agreed to by only 6 people (the negotiators).

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It is worth noting that the Attorney General Johannes Tomana suspended corruption prosecutions over the alleged abuse of Constituency Development Fund (CDFs) by a number of MPs. It remains to be seen if any MPs will be prosecuted for CDF frauds.

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One would have thought that lessons were learnt since the MPs voted for the Chinese loan for a Spy Centre amid reports of a parallel government being funded by proceeds from Chiadzwa diamonds, while civil servants are going without pay increase.

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As a result, Treasury has been forced to go back to the drawing boards on the much talked about $600 million that was expected from diamonds, despite warnings against that fatal optimism.

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As if that was not bad enough The Telegraph says “Robert Mugabe could be brought in from the cold” (before free and fair elections). It’s just unbelievable.

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A Foreign Office spokesman is quoted by The Telegraph as saying that circumstances in Zimbabwe have changed since sanctions were put under review earlier this year. What has changed?

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The roadmap for free and fair elections is booby-trapped and full of potholes. For instance, the new constitution has not yet been concluded. Devolution is still being rejected by Zanu-pf. Dual citizenship while promised is being shot down.

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The regime spokesman Patrick Chinamasa says he has 101 reasons why exiled Zimbabweans who are estimated at 3-4 million should not be allowed to vote. The voters roll is far from perfect.

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In fact, the voters roll is now very suspect as nothing has been heard of it since those disclosures of about two million phantom voters including the dead and babies.

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The Westphalians (EU) are sending a wrong signal to Mugabe and other dictators by being inconsistent on human rights and democracy in Zimbabwe.

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I disagree with the argument that in order to try to induce reforms in Zimbabwe, the EU needs to suspend restrictive measures before free and fair elections are held.

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It does not make sense.

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What will the EU and the UN get as guarantees of peaceful, free and fair democratic elections in Zimbabwe when 3 million have been disenfranchised by Mugabe?

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The same West also tells us it believes in the rule of law. If so, then why would they temper with the travel ban and asset freeze which are being contested in court?

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It is also incredible that, before a referendum on the new constitution and presidential elections, some Zimbabwean elites have acquiesced to Mugabe’s dictatorship.

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Sadly, Zimbabwe’s opposition leaders have not learnt a lesson from the past. They have forgotten how Mugabe has outsmarted his opponents for forty decades through dodgy accords to give him a breathing space.

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Meanwhile, indigenisation is wreaking havoc on the economy as investors said to be staying away while legalised looting goes into overdrive, this time targeting Western banks.

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Despite the firm seizures, unemployment remains at over 80 percent according to some estimates. To say that I am shocked is an understatement.

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Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London, zimanalysis2009@gmail.com

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