Zim to challenge EU travel ban

2011-10-12 18:36

Harare - Zimbabwe's attorney general told a state-owned newspaper on Wednesday that he plans to file suit against the European Union to challenge a travel ban affecting the country's president and senior officials.

"We are finalising drafting of the court papers and we hope to complete that exercise in two weeks time. We hope to file the papers during the course of this month," Johannes Tomana, Zimbabwe's chief lawyer, told the state-owned daily The Herald.

In September, Tomana sent a letter to Brussels asking under what grounds the travel ban - which effects President Robert Mugabe and senior members of his party - had been imposed.

Tomana's letter also contained an ultimatum directed at EU officials: explain why they imposed travel restrictions or face a lawsuit at the General Court of the European Court of Justice.

The EU replied to the letter in a fax sent from Brussels. But the EU's representative in Harare would not divulge the letter's contents, saying the matter is in Tomana's hands.

During his visit to Zimbabwe in September, the EU's chief diplomat for Africa, Nicholas Westcott, told journalists in Zimbabwe that the European bloc was ready for a legal wrangle with Harare.

The EU imposed travel sanctions on Mugabe and his loyalists in 2002, following reports of election rigging and human rights abuses by his Zanu PF party.

There are 163 Zimbabweans on the EU sanctions list. Mugabe has argued that travel restrictions and sanctions harm Zimbabwe's economy.

Mugabe and his officials also face a similar travel ban in the United States.

But because the US and EU travel bans contain language allowing heads of state to attend events held at the United Nations and in Vatican City, Mugabe and others have visited the EU and the US several times since the ban was issued in 2002.

  • Michael McN - 2011-10-12 18:59

    Close those loopholes(^O^)

      B4UGO - 2011-10-12 19:12

      I agree, he only wants to see his "colonialist european Dr" instead of having to travel further........

  • Kevin - 2011-10-12 19:10

    Tomana couldn't find his ass with a mirror. Any country, as South Africa has so embarassingly proved, is entitled to choose who is allowed in as a visitor. South Africa allows in those guilty of escaping from jail (Palazzolo), organised crime bosses (Krecjir), human rights abusers (Mugabe) and any one who they think will be pay a bribe (arms dealers). We exclude anyone mildly critical of our friends (Dalai Lama). Johannes Tomana is grandstanding so he can impress Mugabe, but will get nowhere other than spending a lot of wasted money.

  • Anonymous Thinker - 2011-10-12 19:14

    Now if only those restrictions were imposed in SA!

  • Pencilgraffiti - 2011-10-12 19:14

    For someone who hates the West and swears at them for everything that has gone wrong in Zim, Mugabe&co are surely trying their hardest to travel there....? Surely just by the hate speech he has directed at the West he can already be considered as a possible threat, justifying his expulsion.

  • Robert Swan - 2011-10-12 19:26

    What grounds do they have. Mugabe and his minions are polecats.The result will be: 'Why try? Application rejected!' They are a thick bunch.

      Thatguyoverthere - 2011-10-12 21:33

      Beyond thick . Deluded.

  • letsee - 2011-10-12 19:55

    Please use your personal money, the money deposited in Europe. The tax payer can't afford a lost cause.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-10-12 20:25

    Why would BOB want to travel in the colonial countries? To stash stolen money away? To eat again? Juju,please answer that question!

  • sefeddt - 2011-10-12 21:33

    Ironic that Mugabe and the Zanu PF refuse to recognize the SADC court ruling that the farm grabs were illegal and stating that no one can dicatate to them how to run their country. Now he feels it unfair that he and his cronies are banned from traveling in Europe.

      Magoo - 2011-10-13 11:12

      Hope he wins and the EU just, well ignores, lol

  • Badballie - 2011-10-13 10:34

    no country can be forced to allow any person it considers undesirable to cross its border, Zimbabwe is showing its heritage and stupidity once again. even if sanctions are lifted each of the countries involved can still deny the persons on the list visa's or entry rights and no-one can change that. also the idea that the ban affects the man on the street is nothing more than the usual African bullsh*t that spews forth from the shores of this continent

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