Removal of last 3 Zimbabweans on EU sanctions list a pat on the back for re-engagement agenda

By Bruce Chahwanda

Political Editor

POLITICAL analysts say the removal of the last three Zimbabweans from the European Union sanctions list is a huge victory for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement drive.

On February 21, the European Union lifted sanctions against the remaining three Zimbabweans on their embargo list, a decision that comes as a huge blow to opposition political parties who have been boasting about their relations with western nations.

The three, who have been removed are Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga, Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda and former First Lady, Grace Mugabe.

Political analyst, Mr Takudzwa Gambiza says the latest development is a victory for the Second Republic’s engagement and re-engagement drive.

“This is a huge score for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-engagement drive which is bearing fruit. President Mnangagwa’s mantra of Zimbabwe being a friend to all and enemy to none is at work,” he said.

Lecturers Against Sanctions co-ordinator, Professor Obadiah Dodo said the move was long overdue adding that Brexit is also working in Zimbabwe’s favour.

“These sanctions have been long overdue, there are three factors at play, one the Brexit is playing to our favour as Britain has been working against Zimbabwe, number two, the Second republics re-engagement drive is paying dividends,” said Professor Dodo.

The EU’s decision flies in the face of the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition as the trading bloc has endorsed cordial relations with the Second Republic.

In its statement, the EU said as an integral element of its engagement with Zimbabwe, the bloc looks forward to having a political dialogue with Harare as a matter of priority and notes the readiness of both sides to organise this dialogue shortly.

“The political dialogue will provide an opportunity for regular and open discussions, on many subjects, including on economic and human rights. The political dialogue is key in fostering mutual understanding and constructive cooperation, paving the way for progress in the relations,” reads part of the statement.