Home » General » Text adopted – Zimbabwe – P5_TA(2002)0376 – Thursday, 4 July 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) , 14 March 2002(7) and 16 May 2002(8) on the situation in Zimbabwe,

–   having regard to the decision of the General Affairs Council of 18 February 2002 to close consultations under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement and to introduce a package of targeted sanctions,

–   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 conclusions of the General Affairs Council of 17 June 2002,

–   having regard to the conclusions of the G8 Summit in Alberta, Canada of 26 and 27 June 2002,

A.   whereas EU Member States are due to review the existing package of sanctions against the Mugabe regime at the next General Affairs Council on 22 and 23 July 2002,

B.   whereas the situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated to the point of catastrophe since the presidential election in March 2002, with the population suffering from political repression, the daily fear of intimidation and violence, and with attacks targeted especially at the membership of the main opposition MDC and the media,

C.   whereas a severe drought is afflicting much of the southern African region, and a growing food crisis resulting from a 1.8 million tonne cereal deficit now threatens over half the population of 13 million Zimbabweans with hunger and starvation, and whereas the Zimbabwean economy is in a catastrophic state, largely as a result of the disastrous land policies of the Mugabe regime, with inflation running at 122%,

D.   whereas the amended Land Acquisition Act, which came into force on 24 June 2002, is an obstruction by the Mugabe regime to the necessary legal and equitable land reform process and has had the effect of prohibiting some 2900 Zimbabwean farmers from working their own land, and whereas thousands of farm workers are set to lose their jobs, thereby leaving much-needed crops uncultivated and livestock untended, exposing the country to even greater famine,

E.   whereas Mugabe's mishandling of affairs inside the country threatens not only the people of Zimbabwe but also poses an increasing danger to the stability of the whole of the southern African region, especially countries already facing chronic food shortages, such as Malawi and Zambia, with the prospect of a breakdown in the regional economy and a possible refugee crisis,

F.   whereas the international community has acted to provide emergency aid to Zimbabwe, such as the EUR 6 million in aid granted on 24 June 2002 by the European Commission, supplementing a sum of EUR 6.5 million already given in April 2002,

G.   whereas quasi-judicial measures, such as the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Privacy Act, are now being used to persecute political opponents and journalists, including the current prosecution of Geoff Nyarota, editor of the 'Daily News', Andrew Meldrum and Lloyd Mudiwa for alleged 'abuse of journalistic privilege',

H.   whereas the authorities are intimidating any remaining independent elements of the legal profession, on 3 June 2002 arresting and holding for several days the Zimbabwean Law Society President, Sternford Moyo, and its Secretary, Wilbert Mapombere, under the provisions of the Public Order and Security Act,

I.   whereas leading members of the Zimbabwean regime and their families have been travelling widely, including to European cities, in spite of the EU travel ban, while opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and senior colleagues cannot leave the country as they are still facing trumped-up treason charges,

J.   whereas it has been estimated that EUR 8.5 billion worth of movable assets have been illegally impounded or looted by senior figures in the Mugabe regime since February 2000, when ruling party militants began the programme of seizing private farms,

K.   whereas the EU Troika's visit to the southern African region in May was shamefully ineffective, exerting no pressure on the governments of the region to take robust measures against Zimbabwe, and leaving no clear message regarding action that is needed, and whereas the Council has still not formally reported its findings to Parliament,

L.   whereas the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) is supposed to commit African countries to setting and policing standards of good governance across the continent, pledging African leaders to consolidate democracy and sound economic management, and to promote peace, security and people-oriented development in return for extra financial aid, greater private investment and a reduction in trade barriers by countries in the developed world,

1.  Expresses its deep concern that the problems of Zimbabwe have grave implications for the stability of the wider southern African region, not least at a time when UN agencies are warning of even more widespread famine;

2.  Condemns the merciless, counter-productive and corrupt land appropriations and the catastrophic effect of the Land Acquisition Act in contributing to human misery and starvation;

3.  Underlines its commitment at this time to providing Zimbabwe with emergency humanitarian aid, including assistance with transportation; emphasises the importance that this be dispensed in a non-partisan manner, including through non-governmental agencies which are not under the control of Mugabe, in order to prevent the misappropriation of food by ZANU-PF for selfish political ends;

4.  Restates its view that the presidential election of 9 to 11 March 2002 was deeply flawed, that the circumstances in which it was held were certainly not free or fair, that human rights abuses have intensified since the election and, accordingly, does not recognise the legitimacy of the Mugabe regime;

5.  Abhors the ruthless use of violence and intimidation by the ruling party against political opponents and other representatives of Zimbabwean civil society;

6.  Calls upon all African leaders, especially the Presidents of Nigeria and South Africa and those of other states neighbouring Zimbabwe, to adopt a more assertive stance with regard to Zimbabwe and, in line with the commitments outlined in NEPAD, to give substance to their claims to have learned from experience that peace, security and good governance, human rights and sound economic management are the necessary preconditions for economic development, and therefore to end all diplomatic support for the Mugabe regime;

7.  Insists, accordingly, that the willingness of African states to support action against Zimbabwe should be the first test of their seriousness about NEPAD commitments;

8.  Trusts that in view of the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe the Commonwealth Troika will now intensify its measures against Zimbabwe, including 'full' suspension, to come into effect before the start of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester on 25 July 2002;

9.  Calls for the early implementation of the recommendation by the UN Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in order to reduce the Zimbabwean Government's ability to ignore international pressure to resolve its domestic problems, and for the Zimbabwean Government to withdraw its armed forces from the DRC;

10.  Urges Libya and other states to end material support that reinforces President Mugabe's intransigence;

11.  Insists that at the next General Affairs Council on 22 and 23 July 2002, Member States and the Council take steps to implement more effectively the targeted sanctions already in place and to intensify measures to bring about a rapid improvement in the situation in Zimbabwe;

12.  Demands that these measures include the extension of the list of proscribed individuals to cover 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 families, as they also spend illegally acquired money abroad;

13.  Insists that the Council make a full statement to Parliament at the earliest opportunity concerning the Troika mission and the further robust measures that it intends to take;

14.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States and candidate countries, the Government and Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Presidents of South Africa and Nigeria, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the UN Secretary-General, the Secretary-General of the OAU, the Secretary-General of the 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.
(8) P5_TA(2002)0256.