Mugabe brushes off partial sanctions lifting

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s party on Friday said the partial lifting of sanctions on members of the veteran ruler’s inner circle was “a non-event”.

“Our position is very clear. We want the unconditional lifting of all sanctions,” said Rugare Gumbo, spokesperson for the Zanu-PF.

“This idea of lifting the sanctions piecemeal is all nonsensical. It’s a non-event. The sanctions are illegal. They were not approved by the UN but by a group of European countries who came together and were influenced by the British to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe.”

The European Union’s measures include a travel embargo and asset freeze on Mugabe, his close allies and companies associated with him over rights abuses.

Mugabe insists the sanctions are illegal and blames the country’s economic collapse on the restrictions.

He accuses Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party of supporting the sanctions and has demanded that Tsvangirai ask the EU to scrap them.

Gumbo’s comments followed the EU’s announcement of a lifting of sanctions on 51 people and 20 entities in Zimbabwe, including the justice and foreign ministers.

An EU diplomat said Mugabe was still on the blacklist, while Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi were de-listed so they can travel to Brussels as part of “re-engagement efforts.” — AFP

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