EDITORIAL COMMENT: Other states must follow EU’s stance on Zim


The European Union (EU) has said it is ready to engage Zimbabwe because it is happy with the measures so far taken by the new political dispensation led by the President, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa. The block hailed President Mnangagwa’s efforts to revive the economy. Cde Mnangagwa has already pledged Government’s commitment to re-engage with nations it had disputes with in the past and this includes EU members. He said the manner in which the country previously managed its politics, both nationally and internationally, led to the country being labelled a high risk pariah State.

The EU said it was open for dialogue with the new Government and other political players in the country. “The EU reaffirms its availability to engage constructively with the new authorities including through a structured political dialogue with political actors across the spectrum and with civil society, on the basis of mutual commitment to shared values focused on human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law.”

The block said the ongoing political transition in Zimbabwe had created high hopes among its citizens. The EU said Government can open the way to full return to the rule of law within a constitutional framework under a civilian rule. This, it said, will allow for the implementation of the much needed political and economic reforms.

The block said it would assist Zimbabwe in its re-engagement efforts with international organisations.  The EU said it welcomed the stated intention of the Government to deliver economic reforms aimed at creating jobs, growth and sustainable long term development. To support these Government efforts, the EU said it will assist Government to establish as soon as possible a constructive re-engagement with international financial institutions based on clear and time bound economic and political reform programme.

The EU’s announcement of its readiness to re-engage Zimbabwe has come at the most opportune time when the World Economic Forum (WEF) is underway in Davos, Switzerland. Cde Mnangagwa and his high powered delegation are attending the meeting which brings together Heads of State, Government and International organisations alongside leaders from business, civil society, academia, the arts and media. The Forum’s theme this year is “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”.

Cde Mnangagwa’s task of explaining the new Government position and measures being taken to turnaround the economy, has been made easy by the EU’s assessment of the prevailing situation in the country.

The President is scheduled to meet a number of Heads of State and Government as well as news organisations and as already alluded to, most of them now know the situation on the ground thereby making it easy to engage.

It is our fervent hope that the EU position will persuade other countries or organisations that are hostile to Zimbabwe to reconsider their stance which, we believe, was influenced by the past political dispensation.