No to lifting of Zim sanctions - activist

2012-07-23 13:01

Cape Town - Leading Zimbabwean human rights activist Kerry Kay has lambasted the possible lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe by the European Union, saying the country is still faced with "gross human rights abuses".

In an interview with News24 on Monday, Kay said she was surprised that Zimbabwe's prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in Australia on an official visit, had also agreed to have the sanctions suspended "despite the continued violence in the country".

"Why is Tsvangirai agreeing to have the sanctions lifted when nothing has changed in Zimbabwe? There are still gross human rights abuses taking place, still economic sabotage by the military top brass... still land invasions."

"The conditions of the GPA [Global Political Agreement] have still not been implemented by Zanu-PF... What does that tell anyone who has one iota of common sense?" said Kay.

The EU on Monday agreed to lift most sanctions against Zimbabwe firms and individuals once the country has held "a peaceful and credible" vote on a new constitution.

Welcoming "constructive dialogue" and political "progress", EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels also agreed to resume direct aid to Zimbabwe's government after a 10-year suspension.

A statement from the 27 EU ministers said sanctions would be lifted against most of the 112 Zimbabweans still under an EU asset freeze and travel ban decided in 2002.

Credible constitutional referendum

This would only occur once a referendum on a new constitution has been organised, probably at the end of the year.

"The EU agrees that a peaceful and credible constitutional referendum would represent an important milestone in the preparation of democratic elections that would justify a suspension of the majority of all EU targeted restrictive measures against individuals and entities," the statement said.

But Kay said "the reason why travel bans were imposed still remained in place.  Zanu-PF have cleverly as always used the sanctions as an excuse for not complying with anything.  And now they are going to be rewarded for not complying," she said.

"Does the EU and UK and US think for a moment that if the travel bans are lifted that Zanu-PF is going to suddenly come into line and comply?"

Zimbabwean sanctions were imposed in 2002 after Mugabe oversaw a murderous campaign to drive out white farmers that pushed the country’s economy into a disastrous slump.

  • George - 2012-07-23 13:25

    It is only fair this sanctions go, this millionaire activist are not affected by this sanction hence they don't mind them staying until the 2nd coming of Christ

      alistair.parkinson - 2012-07-23 13:48

      Not quite sure who you mean when you say "this millionaire activist are not affected by this sanction". But George, Do even know how the sanctions are implemented? Zimbabwe’s expulsion from the IMF, and subsequent targeted sanctions against ministers and Mugabe’s cronies have hardly changed the situation for the average Zimbabwean. They have still yet to benefit from the liberation from white rule, and will not until Mugabe goes. You really think he cares about the average man on the street when is wife is buying Jimmy Choo’s in Paris? ……

      larry.piggott1 - 2012-07-23 14:11

      George, you are a Zanu apologist. The Sanctions must stay until the Country is democratically run and all human rights are respected.

      millionwatts1 - 2012-07-23 14:45

      @Alister.paikinson, When did she buy Jimmy Choos in Paris when she has been banned from there all this time. Its these gross exergerations that just make your points questinable. Kerry Kay would not be active in a stable Zim so she advocates for sanctions to stay(for obvious reasons)

      alistair.parkinson - 2012-07-23 14:54

      @millionwatts1, "According to The Sun, Britain's biggest circulating newspaper with over 3 million readers daily, her biggest extravagance was blowing a cool £75 000 in TWO hours in Paris last year'. this was in 2008. She has reportedly spent over 2.1 million pounds on shopping sprees alone... are you from zim? Then you would know what the people call her right, Gucci Grace? Oh, and its spelt Alistair Parkinson.

      millionwatts1 - 2012-07-23 17:27

      If The Sun is your source then I rest my case. Alistair Parkinson.

  • ngux.onga - 2012-07-23 13:55

    one thing that Kerry Kay must understand is that he must stop making himself popular at the expense of innocent zimbabweans. How can one come in the name of human right activism while he is supporting human right violations. Kerry Kay listen i am a zimbabwean and i grow up in zimbabwe and i dont like president mugabe and his govt. But one thing i know for sure is that sanctions do more harm to us the citizens of zim. sanctions dont affect the politicians the millionaire and hence you dont care even if they are not lifted. i think kerry kay you are the number one human right violator instead of activist. these people must just keep quite. they dont know what sanctions has done to us. tthey have done much harm that what mugabe regime has done.

      alistair.parkinson - 2012-07-23 14:03

      Ngux, the damage is from the actions of the Mugabe government, the complete destruction of the agricultural sector, and absolute economic mismanagement, sanctions compound the problem created by ZANUPF.

  • jean.m.gray.14 - 2012-07-23 13:59

    The vote on the constitution will be flawed, as is the patched together draft constitution. Nothing has changed for the poor Zimbabweans, both in Zimbabwe or in exile, and it never will while Mugabe is in charge or alive. Sanctions have always been an excuse and have never been aimed at anyone but the ruling elite. Lifting them won't help the average citizen one iota. The world and especially South Africa has always failed Zimbabwe and its people. Only the rulers have benefited.

  • john.holland.5876060 - 2012-07-23 14:24

    Zimbabwe had a referendum of a new constitution and the elkectorate voted against it - not on the content, whether we have a new one or not. With Western support we ignor the electorate and a vote accepted as free and fair by the west. If your are into human rights and i havent met any in zimbabwe as they all fall under one opposition politician, then you should not support and illegal act of another referendum.

  • john.holland.5876060 - 2012-07-23 14:31

    Sanctions are and have always been illegal and not approved by the UN. They were imposed over the Land Issue,where it was agreed by Britain that all rural land would revert to govermnment by 1990 - this didnt occur as Britain didnt pay compensation to farmers and government repossed their land. A compensation fund was only established by Robin Cook in UK in parliament only in 2000, 10 years too late. There have been no claims to date as Britain funds all local farmers organisations presumably conditionally

  • lerato.kay.3 - 2012-07-23 14:33

    EU has no choice but to play ball, there are diamonds in Zim remember and tobacco production is increasing! EU is just protecting or campaigning for a share as usual, its a fallacy that they are concerned about the welfare of Zimbabweans

  • Jymiro - 2012-07-23 14:55

    Kerry Kay we are living in a real world. After 10 years of sanction against the Mugabe regime what have they achieve? The opposite of what was intended. Instead Mugabe went to the Chinese and he received support and the economy of Zim is slowly picking up. The Chinese are takingover the key sectors of Zim economy and buy the time EU wake up Zim's economy is monopolised by the Chinese and no space for EU companies or will be getting in at a high price. The lifting of the sanctions will benefit everyone in normalising the Zim economy. A partial lift of sanction is equally not a good move and unacceptable. EU must not use sanctions for they obssession for regime change, its onl Zimbos through a ballot who will do so.

      alistair.parkinson - 2012-07-23 15:05

      They have tried befoe Jymiro, through the ballot box.....

      bryan.billy2 - 2012-07-23 16:01

      this z almost true cz y du all countries being forced 2 rely on EU whilst thm ( EU ) z also in crisis and ts even failing du deal with ts problems, y ar ey supporting opposition parties especialy in Africa. Pls leave ths cool and organised continent.

      alistair.parkinson - 2012-07-23 16:12

      They are not supporting opposition parties, they are supporting Democracy....

      justin.mugebe - 2012-07-23 16:16


  • justin.mugebe - 2012-07-23 16:18


  • justin.mugebe - 2012-07-23 16:20


  • simbarashe.nenzou - 2012-07-23 16:23

    what can you expect from a former rhodie get over yourself we took back our land in just the same manner as it was taken from our forefathers the way forward here is for sanctions to be removed as they affect the ordinary person and you so called activists who operate blindly from outside zimbabwe's boarders should stop vomiting lies that there's violence in zimbabwe because if you were here you would know that there is no violence have the decency to respect what mugabe has done in empowering the black zimbabwean and if you truly love your country and think you are zimbabwean then you should work hand in hand with the black people and not see them as a threat to your lush living which you and your white forefathers had been privileged to have experienced in your time in zimbabwe you should realize the time for black economic power is now and if you dont want to join the band wagon then shut up about issues you dont have a clue about and stay out of us true africans affairs

  • oscar.tsodzai - 2012-07-25 17:33

    karry kary what ever yo name is the sanctions have failed to achieve the very purpose they were intended to since 2002 and the sanctions greatly affected the ordinary people in the street and do u think Mugabe cares since 2002 did the the sanctions even affect Mugabe even for an inch rather he and his supporters accumulatd in wealth than bafore the sanctions the only wor that fits you is stupit fool lam a victim of these sanctions so u cant say or explain the effects of these sanctions only we who have been affected by them knows the effects of them so find something else to talk about

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