Home » General » Text adopted – Zimbabwe – P5_TA(2002)0412 – Thursday, 5 September 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) , 16 May 2002(8) and 4 July 2002(9) on the situation in Zimbabwe,

A.   whereas the food crisis in Zimbabwe has been seriously exacerbated by the actions of the Mugabe regime, most notably the recent enforcement of the deadline for thousands of farmers served with acquisition notices to leave their land under the provisions of the amended Land Acquisition Act,

B.   whereas imported maize and other emergency food supplies are being controlled for political purposes by the Grain Marketing Board, which is under the direction of Perence Shiri, a close Mugabe associate, and there is increasing evidence of a deliberate policy by the Mugabe regime to carry out selective starvation against its political enemies, as recently stated by the International Crisis Group in their report 'Silence Selective Starvation',

C.   whereas Robert Mugabe attended the UN Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and cynically sought to distort the global understanding of events in Zimbabwe, while his country is descending further into economic and political chaos, with food and fuel shortages and rampant inflation,

D.   whereas there are reports of women and children being taken to camps and raped, on the grounds that they are suspected of supporting the opposition MDC,

E.   whereas there are allegations of a deliberate ruling-party militia campaign against women targeted because of their political affiliations or those of their husbands,

F.   whereas the last Presidential elections in Zimbabwe were regarded by the international community as not free and fair and Robert Mugabe's re-election was therefore fraudulent,

G.   whereas the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have a key role to play in resolving the crisis in Zimbabwe,

H.   whereas President Mbeki of South Africa in particular, as Zimbabwe's most powerful neighbour and economic partner, as chairman of the African Union, and as a member of the Commonwealth Troika charged with dealing with Zimbabwe, has the opportunity and responsibility to show leadership in helping bring about urgent change for the better in Zimbabwe,

I.   whereas the Council Common Position of 18 February 2002 introduced measures whereby Member States should prevent entry into their territories of 20 named Zimbabwean Ministers and officials and this list was expanded on 22 July 2002 to include a further 52 individuals,

J.   whereas the clauses providing for exemptions from the travel ban have been exploited by those on the banned list, notably by Zimbabwean Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, who has recently attended meetings of the Executive Committee of Interpol in Lyon,

K.   whereas Chihuri's presence in a Member State is doubly offensive, firstly as blatant defiance of the EU's sanctions and secondly in that the police force that he commands is an instrument for the oppression of the people of Zimbabwe, while it is alleged that Chihuri himself has corruptly benefited from Mugabe's land seizure policies,

1.  Strongly condemns the regime's use of food supplies as a political weapon against opposition supporters;

2.  Expresses its continuing grave concern at the magnitude of the food crisis facing Zimbabwe and other countries in southern Africa, and stresses that Mugabe's land redistribution programme is only serving to worsen the country's food crisis, as up to six million Zimbabweans may need food aid this year;

3.  Underlines its commitment at this time to provide the Zimbabwean people with emergency humanitarian aid, including assistance with transportation, provided that there are guarantees it is dispensed in a non-partisan manner, including through independent agencies in order to prevent the misappropriation of food for political ends;

4.  Confirms that the question of land reform can only be resolved through legal, democratic, just and transparent mechanisms;

5.  Strongly condemns human rights violations in Zimbabwe and in particular violence against women;

6.  Condemns the continued attacks on the independent media in Zimbabwe, in particular the recent bomb attack on the offices of the Voice of the People, an independent radio station based in Harare;

7.  Joins with the democratic political opposition in Zimbabwe in utterly condemning the hypocrisy of Mugabe's speech at the UN Summit in Johannesburg, which made scant reference to the question of sustainable development and was merely an exercise in partisan propaganda;

8.  Expresses concern that the forthcoming local council elections in Zimbabwe, scheduled for 28 and 29 September 2002, will not be free and fair; expresses grave concern about the possibility of violence against opposition candidates and supporters; notes that international actors will be paying close attention to the local council elections; calls on the Mugabe regime to end political violence and allow opposition groups to campaign without fear and intimidation during these elections;

9.  Calls on President Mbeki to take the initiative in bringing pressure to bear on Zimbabwe, through effective regional initiatives, and to demand fresh presidential elections in Zimbabwe under international supervision;

10.  Calls on the Chairman of the SADC, Malawi's President Bakili Muluzi, in furtherance of the SADC's own guiding principles, to join in taking strong action against Zimbabwe;

11.  Calls upon the EU immediately to take firm and meaningful steps in order to extend its sanctions, and insists that the travel ban and other EU measures against the Mugabe regime be rigorously enforced, without exception;

12.  Urges all the other G-8 countries to join with those that are Member States in imposing financial and other targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe;

13.  Calls on the governments of Member States, in concert with other key members of the international community, to explore all additional international measures to be taken against the Mugabe regime;

14.  Calls for greater transparency and detailed information on the application of EU sanctions and calls, in particular, on the Commission to provide information on the freezing of the bank accounts of those in Mugabe's entourage;

15.  Underlines that a crucial test case for the Council's credibility to stick to its own decisions will be to refuse a visa to Zimbabwe's foreign minister to attend the SADC-EU foreign ministers" meeting in Copenhagen in early November 2002;

16.  Calls on Member States to review arrangements for the hosting of international organisations (e.g. 'headquarters agreements' such as that between France and Interpol) so that international sanctions cannot be breached;

17.  Calls on the Council to report to the European Parliament at the earliest opportunity on the results of its missions to the southern Africa region, and on the measures that it proposes to take in order to make international action against the Mugabe regime more effective;

18.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States and candidate countries, the governments and parliaments of Canada, Japan, Russia and the USA, the government and parliament of Zimbabwe, the Presidents of South Africa and Malawi, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the UN Secretary-General, the Secretary-General of the African Union, 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) OJ C 177 E, 25.7.2002, p. 305.
(7) P5_TA(2002)0131.
(8) P5_TA(2002)0256.
(9) P5_TA(2002)0376.