Government has described the continuation of European Union (EU) measures as a setback to re-engagement efforts, but says Zimbabwe will continue to mend relations.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said this yesterday as he reacted to this week’s review of restrictive measures by the 28-member bloc.
His comments came as the ruling zanu-pf party expressed similar disquiet on the extension saying the embargoes had caused untold suffering to ordinary citizens.
Said Dr Moyo: “The recent EU Council continued restrictive measures on Zimbabwe have been noted as a progressive, but still remain a setback as they affect sitting members of Government in the Second Republic.
“The continuation of any form of sanctions is not synonymous with Zimbabwe’s re-engagement efforts. Government of Zimbabwe will continue to make efforts to solidify genuine re-engagement.”
He also called on Zimbabweans to defend the country’s national interest in the international arena.
In a separate statement , Zanu-PF secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo urged the EU to listen to the calls by Sadc, the African Union and the entire progressive world to unconditionally lift the sanctions.
“These sanctions have caused untold suffering on our people and continued to be one of the most serious threats to our country’s peace and democracy hence they must go, and go now,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.
He decried the agenda behind the sanctions and urged the opposition MDC in its various mutations to join the world and urge the EU to scrap the policy.
Cde Khaya Moyo said progressive nations of the world had stood against sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“The zanu-pf position is that the EU should heed the calls by Sadc, AU and the generality of the international community to totally and unconditionally remove illegal sanctions in all their various forms and manifestations.
“Their maintenance represents continued interference by the concerning countries with the internal affairs of a sovereign State.”
Cde Khaya Moyo said Zanu-PF was taken aback and regretted to note that this decision comes against the background in which Zimbabwe had made tremendous progress towards robust implementation of her reform agenda aimed at uplifting the national economic status.
He said the EU’s mantra that the bloc will only review the sanctions on condition to what it terms “observation” of the rule of law as set out in Zimbabwe’s Constitution is nothing new.
The ruling party spokesperson applauded President Mnangagwa for being steadfast on re-engagement.
“The party holds the firm position that the evidently genuine engagement and re-engagement efforts being pursued by Zimbabwe under the colossal stewardship of His Excellency the President Cde ED Mnangagwa deserves the support of the international community more particularly the EU and their Western allies.”
Cde Khaya Moyo said Zanu-PF appreciated the efforts by Government to addressing the current economic challenges.
He said Government urged to continue pursuing the engagement and re-engagement efforts.