Home » General » Text adopted – Zimbabwe – P5_TA(2003)0273 – Thursday, 5 June 2003 – Strasbourg – Final edition

The European Parliament

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Zimbabwe,

A.   whereas the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate,

B.   whereas Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has called for a week of peaceful mass action, commencing on 2 June 2003 and due to continue until at least 6 June,

C.   whereas the Mugabe regime has declared the strike and demonstrations illegal and warned that anyone taking part in them will face “the full wrath of the law”,

D.   whereas the majority of people have responded to the call for action, with factories, businesses and shops remaining closed,

E.   whereas government militias, as well as army, police and riot police units are stationed in all main towns in Zimbabwe,

F.   whereas a regime crackdown began even before the strikes and demonstrations had commenced, with the arrest and subsequent release of MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai and the arrest and assault of other MDC politicians,

G.   whereas the army and police have used excessive violence against demonstrators, and at least one person has died,

H.   whereas in the previous demonstrations of 18 and 19 March 2003, human rights groups recorded over 250 people admitted to hospital and over 500 people arrested as a result of the regime’s violent response,

I.   whereas food and fuel are in increasingly short supply in Zimbabwe, prices for most basic goods are rising at a rate of over 50% per month, inflation has now reached almost 270%, and the Economist Intelligence Unit estimates that Zimbabwe will have the world’s highest inflation before the end of 2003, with consumer prices likely to rise by over 300%,

J.   whereas the UN World Food Programme estimates that 7.2 million Zimbabweans, out of a total population of 12.6 million, are in need of food aid,

K.   whereas the last presidential and local elections were characterised by intimidation, repression, voting fraud and state-sponsored political violence, and were widely regarded as “not free and fair”,

L.   whereas, because of their half-hearted implementation, EU targeted sanctions against the Mugabe regime have failed to prevent a deterioration of the situation in Zimbabwe, let alone bring about change for the better in the country,

M.   whereas the Zimbabwean Minister for Trade and Industry, Samuel Mumbengegwi, who was specifically banned from travelling to the EU, was granted a visa to attend the EU-ACP Council of Ministers meetings in Brussels (12-16 May 2003), weakening the EU’s measures against the Mugabe regime,

N.   whereas the visit of South African President Mbeki, Nigerian President Obasanjo, and Malawi President Muluzi to Zimbabwe on 5 May 2003 failed to expedite a return to democracy and the rule of law in the country,

O.   whereas on 4 April 2003 the Southern African Development Community (SADC) unhelpfully expressed its wish to develop a channel for dialogue between the EU and Zimbabwe with a view to the lifting of EU sanctions against the Mugabe regime,

1.  Condemns the Mugabe regime’s increasingly violent oppression of the Zimbabwean people and demands that it immediately end its campaign of political intimidation and brutality, and respect citizens” constitutional right to peaceful demonstration;

2.  Calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners;

3.  Demands that the Mugabe regime immediately call free and fair elections under international supervision;

4.  Deeply regrets the Council’s continued unwillingness to implement fully and effectively EU measures against the Mugabe regime in the face of a rapidly deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and despite repeated calls from the Parliament to do so;

5.  Calls upon the Council to take a lead in the international community and effect a comprehensive strategy to restore democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights in Zimbabwe;

6.  Calls upon the Council to enhance its sanction measures and ensure that they are rigorously enforced, without exception;

7.  Expresses its extreme disappointment that a tougher line has not been taken by African leaders in the region against Mugabe’s regime, and particularly urges President Mbeki of South Africa, once again, to take a stronger lead in resolving the crisis in Zimbabwe by exercising South Africa’s considerable influence in the region, which has yielded positive results on other occasions;

8.  Is disappointed by the SADC’s refusal to exert pressure on the Mugabe regime and urges the African Union and SADC countries to do everything possible to resolve the crisis;

9.  Calls upon the UN to appoint a Special Rapporteur to investigate the human rights situation in Zimbabwe;

10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the Governments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the African Union, the Secretary-General of SADC, the ACP-EU Council, the Government and Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Government and Parliament of South Africa and the leaders of the G8 countries.