Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe to sue EU over travel ban

2011-10-28 15:41

Special Report

Malawi diplomat designate called Mugabe 'idiot' - report
Malawi diplomat designate called Mugabe 'idiot' - report

Diplomatic ties between Lilongwe and Harare are likely to face a blow after President Peter Mutharika appointed a man who once described President Robert Mugabe as an “idiot” to be the new ambassador to Zimbabwe.

Harare - Zimbabwe's attorney general plans to file a lawsuit against the European Union over sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his top associates, state media reported on Friday.

"What I can tell you is that we are done with the paper work and what is left is to get the necessary travel documents to enable us to travel to Europe," Johannes Tomana told The Herald newspaper.

"We do not know how long this will take, but within a week we expect to have received our invitations and visas to enable us to travel to Europe."

"After arriving in Europe, we will brief the EU Council after which we will file our court papers," he said.

Tomana would not give the exact details contained in the lawsuit, saying that it is not yet a public document, The Herald said.

Mugabe and his close associates were slapped with travel bans to European Union member countries after 2002 disputed presidential poll, which western observers said were rigged to hand Mugabe victory.

Last week Switzerland denied Mugabe's wife, Grace and five government officials visas to travel with the veteran leader to the European country to attend a United Nations telecommunications conference.

Five other top Zimbabwe officials who were denied visas include the foreign minister, the communications minister, the director general in the presidency, Mugabe's personal bodyguard, and Mugabe's spokesperson.

Although Switzerland is not an EU member, it recognises the ban. Normally the ban is waived for UN events.

State media reported that government has lodged a complaint with the United Nations and Swiss authorities over the issue.

The Swiss embassy in Harare refused to comment on the matter.

- AFP

Read more on:    eu  |  grace mugabe  |  robert mugabe  |  johannes tomana  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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