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Government is disgusted by the way the European Union treated the First Family ahead of the recent EU-Africa Summit in Belgium.

Zimbabwe pulled out of the summit after the bloc denied the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe a visa and insisted on determining the entire African delegation to the summit. The EU initially did not invite President Mugabe and only invited Zimbabwe, despite the fact that in diplomatic norms Heads of State are in their personal capacities.

Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo told British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Deborah Bronnert, at his offices in Harare yesterday that Zimbabwe was unhappy with the bloc’s behaviour. “The Minister made it clear that the way our Head of State and Government was treated was unfair,” said a source privy to what was discussed in the meeting.

“Her posture was that it was only the President who had been affected but the Minister told her that what affects the Head of State affects us as well. The Minister told her that it would seem Britain is still in the way and could have played a role in what happened.

“But she said the EU decides on consensus. She said Britain is not standing in the way against countries in the bloc. The minister also asked on the existence of continued bad relations between the two countries and she said she would continue to facilitate good relations.” Ambassador Bronnert was interested in knowing Prof Moyo’s position on criminal defamation following the arrests on Monday of Daily News group editor Stanley Gama and reporter Fungisai Kwaramba over a story that accused businessman Mr Kamal Khalfan of shady dealings and homosexuality.

Prof Moyo reiterated that the arrests were unnecessary and individuals should not pursue personal matters through the police.

“The Minister re-affirmed his position on the issue but went on to explain the processes involved,” said a source.

“He said it is the process that matters on laws, and that the process of re-alignment of various laws to the Constitution are already underway. He made particular reference to the fundamental rights provided for in the new Constitution saying there was no way Zimbabwe could be against freedom of the Press.”

The source said Prof Moyo explained to Ambassador Bronnert the process of commercial radio licencing.

“She also showed interest in transparency around salary-gate and Government’s position on the issue. The Minister assured her that Zimbabwe upholds transparency.

“He took her through the process of how the issues came to the fore,” said the source. Ambassador Bronnert said they discussed several issues. We talked about plans for radio licencing, television licencing what will happen next year when Zimbabwe as well as everywhere else when the analogue system is switched off and the digital revolution which is going across the world is going to have an impact on Zimbabwe,” she said.

Source : The Herald

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