EU to re-engage Zimbabwe with immediate effect – Germany

HARARE – The German government says it is fully committed to supporting Zimbabwe if the country respects property and human rights as provided by the September 15, 2008 unity agreement between ZANU PF and MDC.

"We are committed to supporting Zimbabwe fully if political prisoners are released, land invasions are stopped, political violence and media reforms are all addressed and the Reserve Bank is institutionalised," German ambassador to Zimbabwe, Dr Albrecht Conze, told guests at a one day stakeholder consultative meeting held at Harare’s rainbow Towers, Friday.

He said Germany was satisfied with progress made so far by the inclusive government but pointed out some areas, which need transformation, if the country is to get full support from the international community.

"We are committed to supporting Zimbabwe fully if political prisoners are released, land invasions are stopped, political violence and media reforms are all addressed and the Reserve Bank is institutionalized," he said

The German diplomat said the European Union (EU) agreed last week to re-engage Zimbabwe with immediate effect, indicating that it would respond to the country’s needs through Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

"On Behalf of the EU, I am happy to announce that the political agreement between Zimbabwe and EU has been formally reached, and we will respond to Zimbabwe’s concerns through Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai," said Ambassador Conze.

He reiterated that the assistance would depend on the restoration of property and human rights.

Germany last year released US$ 607 million towards humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe.

He said USd 300 million has since been released for the same purpose this year.

Relations between Zimbabwe and Germany soured a few years ago following the former’s refusal to observe the rule of law and Zimbabwe’s flawed elections.

Germany last year summarily terminated a 50 year contract to supply money printing paper to Zimbabwe accusing the Reserve bank of funding acts of genocide by President Robert Mugabe’s supporters.