Home » General » Text adopted – Situation in Zimbabwe – P5_TA(2002)0256 – Thursday, 16 May 2002 – Strasbourg – Final edition

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions of 13 April 2000(1) , 18 May 2000(2) , 6 July 2000(3) , 15 March 2001(4) , 6 September 2001(5) , 13 December 2001(6) and 14 March 2002(7) on the situation in Zimbabwe,

–  having regard to the outcome of the presidential election in Zimbabwe of 9-11 March 2002,

–  having regard to the decision of the Commonwealth on 19 March 2002 to suspend Zimbabwe's membership for a period of one year,

–  having regard to the resolution passed on 21 March 2002 by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Cape Town on the situation in Zimbabwe,

–  having regard to the decision of the EU General Affairs Council of 28 January 2002 to close its Cotonou Consultations with Zimbabwe and to its decision of 18 February 2002 to introduce a package of targeted sanctions,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the Barcelona European Council of 15 and 16 March 2002,

A.  whereas the international community, distracted by many crises, must not shift its attention away from Zimbabwe, thereby allowing the catastrophic situation there to deteriorate even further, with murder, violence, intimidation and now starvation becoming part of the norm of daily life in this much-abused country,

B.  whereas the presidential election was clearly flawed, with a range of well-substantiated and serious electoral abuses,

C.  whereas the scale of the humanitarian disaster, a crisis exacerbated, according to senior World Food Programme representatives, by the failed policies of the Mugabe regime, is afflicting the Zimbabwean population in dramatically increasing numbers, with an estimated 7.8 million of the country's 13 million population now in need of emergency food aid, further compounding the problem of food shortages in Malawi and Zambia,

D.  whereas only one-third of the total amount of food given earlier this year by the WFP for the 750 000 people facing starvation in the worst-affected rural areas in Zimbabwe was effectively delivered,

E.  whereas the government continues to intimidate and harass its political opponents and the media, with highly dubious charges of treason against MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC Secretary-General Welshman Ncube, and the arrest of many journalists,

F.  whereas political violence has intensified since the election, including the murder of at least a dozen opposition supporters, most recently Jenus Ngamira and Tiperson Madhobha, as well as other acts of revenge carried out by ZANU-PF supporters in areas where there has been high support for the political opposition in the presidential election,

G.  whereas the plan brokered by South Africa and Nigeria to reopen negotiations between ZANU-PF and MDC officials in Harare on 13 May 2002 has been blocked by the Zimbabwean government,

H.  whereas legislative restrictions including the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act are now being used to persecute political opponents and journalists, with eight reporters arrested in the past month, and the legal move by the Foreign Correspondents Association in Zimbabwe to challenge the access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act in the Supreme Court is a legitimate response to the unacceptable restrictions on freedom of speech and of the media,

I.  whereas there are reports that Zimbabwean government ministers and officials are continuing to travel freely to EU countries,

1.  Reiterates its view that the presidential election of 9-11 March 2002 was deeply flawed and that the circumstances in which it was held were certainly not free and fair, and, accordingly, does not recognise the legitimacy of the Mugabe regime;

2.  Insists that the situation in Zimbabwe remains a high priority for the EU and for the wider international community and that all efforts should be made to bring about a benign change in the situation, including the raising of the Zimbabwe issue by EU Member States in the UN Security Council;

3.  Applauds those politicians and citizens of Zimbabwe who stand up for their democratic rights and for a return to the rule of law;

4.  Expresses its alarm about the breakdown of law and order and the ongoing use of political violence and intimidation by the ruling party against political opponents;

5.  Welcomes the stance taken by the Commonwealth in suspending Zimbabwe for one year;

6.  Congratulates the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly for taking a robust stand on Zimbabwe in its resolution of 21 March 2002;

7.  Demands that the charges of treason brought against Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube be dropped; that all draconian legislation adopted by the government in recent months to restrict freedom of speech, freedom of the media and democracy in Zimbabwe be rescinded; and that those involved in acts of murder and intimidation be brought to justice;

8.  Calls for a fresh presidential election to be held within the next twelve months, according to internationally accepted norms and under the auspices of independent international observers;

9.  Welcomes the acceptance by African nations of tough action by the Commonwealth, but regrets the refusal by some to support the robust resolution that nevertheless was passed by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Cape Town in March 2002;

10.  Calls on President Mbeki to show wholehearted and consistent support for the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and accordingly to demonstrate the quality of leadership that befits the powerful and crucial regional position of South Africa;

11.  Calls on African leaders, particularly in the South African Development Community (SADC) region, not to resume normal diplomatic relations with the Mugabe regime and thereby jeopardise the 'New Programme for African Development' (NEPAD) and the prospects for the launch of an 'African renaissance' by the G8 summit in Canada in July 2002;

12.  Regrets the refusal of the UNHCR meeting to discuss the crisis facing Zimbabwe;

13.  Notes that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the US are currently more severe than those imposed by the European Union;

14.  Insists that the Member States and the Council maintain and intensify the resolve and actions of the EU to bring about an early improvement in the situation in Zimbabwe and, therefore, to identify and put in place further measures that will put pressure on the Mugabe regime, whilst ensuring that current measures are strictly applied;

15.  Calls for such measures to include:

   - extension of the EU's proscribed list of banned Mugabe associates to include other key figures, such as the vice-presidents, all ministers, senior military, police and secret service commanders and leading businessmen who have helped to bankroll ZANU-PF or benefited from its corrupt activities, and who play a role in sustaining the regime and its campaign of violence, and also include their respective spouses and children, as they also spend illegally acquired money abroad,
   - publication of details pertaining to assets already identified and frozen as a result of the policy of targeted sanctions,
   - examination of Zimbabwe's debt situation and drawing rights in international financial institutions;

16.  Insists that the EU troika due to be dispatched to the southern Africa region next week should urge Zimbabwe's neighbours to take stronger action to bring about a return to democracy, the rule of law, and economic prosperity in Zimbabwe, and to make specific proposals to this end;

17.  Emphasises that Zimbabwe should continue to receive emergency humanitarian aid, including assistance with transportation, dispensed through non-governmental agencies which are not under the control of President Mugabe; and that wider large-scale financial assistance, such as the promised support for land reform, including appropriate compensation for displaced farmers and farm workers, will quickly be forthcoming once democracy, human rights and the rule of law have been re-established following free and fair elections;

18.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments of the Member States and of the candidate countries, the government and parliament of Zimbabwe, the Presidents of South Africa and Nigeria, the UN Secretary-General, the Secretary-General of the African Union, the Secretary-General of SADC, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and the President of the World Bank.

(1) OJ C 40, 7.2.2001, p. 425.
(2) OJ C 59, 23.2.2001, p. 241.
(3) OJ C 121, 24.4.2001, p. 394.
(4) OJ C 343, 5.12.2001, p. 304.
(5) OJ C 72 E, 21.3.2002, p. 339.
(6) Texts Adopted, Item 18.
(7) P5_TA(2002)0131.