Home » General » Text adopted – Zimbabwe – P5_TA(2004)0033 – Thursday, 15 January 2004 – Strasbourg – Final edition

The European Parliament

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

–   having regard to Rule 50(5) of the Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) regime is now an appalling example of relentless oppression of an impoverished and starving people, the systematic subversion of judicial, press and individual freedom, and the destruction of a once successful economy,

B.   whereas the leader of the opposition – the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) – Morgan Tsvangirai, has been put on trial on spurious charges of treason, designed to damage the MDC,

C.   whereas Zimbabwe’s dire economic situation has worsened, with GDP falling by some 40% over the past four years, annual inflation now reaching 620% and scheduled to pass 1 000% during 2004, unemployment at 70%, and some 6.5 million people in need of food aid, including large numbers in need in the previously relatively well-off urban areas,

D.   whereas the spread of HIV/AIDS continues to cause great human suffering and exacerbate economic difficulties, with a prevalence rate of 33% in Zimbabwe’s adult population, and whereas the World Health Organisation recently estimated that 4 000 Zimbabweans are dying per week from this disease,

E.   whereas repression through the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act reached alarming levels during the course of 2003, and access to justice and observance of human rights deteriorated at an accelerated rate,

F.   whereas the consequences of Zimbabwe’s worsening humanitarian disaster have been intensified by a shortfall, due in part to donors’ concern over allegations of politicisation of food aid delivered via Government channels, in the World Food Programme’s appeal, necessitating a halving of the available cereal ration for 2.6 million people,

G.   whereas many people, mainly children, are reported to have died of malnutrition and other hunger-related causes in the Bulawayo area alone between August and December 2003,

H.   whereas ZANU-PF’s disastrous ‘land reform’ programme has had devastating consequences for the people of Zimbabwe, dismantling the commercial agriculture sector without replacing it with any other way of producing food efficiently and effectively,

I.   whereas Zimbabwe’s commercial beef herd has been reduced by 90% since the onset of the ‘land reform’ programme to fewer than 120 000 from 1.4 million three years ago, with the whole gene pool so well adapted to local conditions threatened with extinction,

J.   whereas the Daily News, Zimbabwe’s only independent daily newspaper, continues to be closed in spite of court decisions in December 2003 that overturned its forced shut-down and ordered the police to stop interfering with the newspaper’s operations; and the editor, news editor and chief reporter of the weekly Zimbabwe Independent were arrested on 10 January 2004 under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act,

K.   whereas the Zimbabwean Government is planning to introduce new measures to police all broadcast and internet-based information circulation,

L.   whereas Zimbabwe is losing skilled and professional people to other countries because of the economic crisis and whereas this brain drain will have a serious negative impact on the development of the country,

M.   whereas on 7 December 2003, the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Abuja agreed to renew the suspension of Zimbabwe and to establish a committee to make recommendations on the way forward on the matter,

N.   whereas on 11 December 2003, Zimbabwe terminated its membership of the Commonwealth,

O.   whereas the continuing policy of ‘quiet diplomacy’ by southern African leaders has failed to produce any concrete results,

P.   whereas African nations have allowed their relations with the countries of the EU to be held hostage by the ZANU-PF regime, and whereas it is therefore in the interests of the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to take urgent action, along with the rest of the international community, to bring about rapid change for the better in Zimbabwe,

Q.   whereas the EU Common Position of 18 February 2002, renewed on 18 February 2003, introduced targeted measures against the ZANU-PF regime and requires further renewal on 20 February 2004,

R.   whereas the European Parliament has consistently called for the widening and rigorous enforcement of targeted sanctions and the introduction of additional measures, to make international action against the ZANU-PF regime more effective,

S.   whereas the cricket teams of the UK and the Netherlands did not play matches in Zimbabwe during the 2003 World Cup,

T.   whereas the 7th Session of the
EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) will take place in Addis Ababa on 16-19 February 2004,

U.   whereas an EU–African Union Foreign Ministerial Troika meeting is scheduled to take place on
1 April 2004,

1.  Calls on the Council to adopt a more active and urgent approach to the Zimbabwe disaster, to include renewal of targeted sanctions, their expansion to include the rescinding of rights of residence in the EU of those subject to a ban and the prevention of their family members accessing employment and educational institutions in the EU, the curtailing of high-profile economic links with Zimbabwe that give prestige to the regime, and the identification and imposition of measures against those providing financial backing for the anti-democratic activities of the ZANU-PF regime;

2.  Insists that the charges against Morgan Tsvangirai are spurious and unsubstantiated, and that the systematic violence and intimidation against opponents of the ZANU-PF regime must cease;

3.  Calls for the vigorous enforcement of all EU sanctions against the ZANU-PF regime and for a more robust commitment by the EU, ACP partners and the wider international community to the enforcement of the sanctions, including the call by MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai for the stringent application of the visa ban;

4.  Congratulates the Commonwealth for its principled stance in maintaining Zimbabwe’s suspension; calls for those African countries which have stood their ground against tyranny and chaos in Zimbabwe to be acknowledged and supported;

5.  Regrets the failure of the EU Council, in whatever form, to make any effective impact on the policies of Zimbabwe’s neighbours, whether in its dealings with SADC or with individual countries;

6.  Strongly criticises the failure of some southern African governments to exert any pressure on the ZANU-PF regime, which has been so abusive of its people and effectively disrupted relations between Africa and the wider international community; calls upon South Africa, in particular, to act effectively so as to bring about change in Zimbabwe;

7.  Insists that African countries and the African Union demonstrate their genuine commitment to the principles of NEPAD – namely good governance, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law;

8.  Urges Zimbabwe’s neighbours to seize the opportunity afforded by the forthcoming EU-ACP and EU–African Union
meetings to revitalise their relationship with the EU by condemning the human rights abuses of the ZANU-PF regime and other regimes guilty of violating citizens’ basic rights so that issues of wider concern in Africa, such as good governance, economic development, HIV/AIDS, law and order and fair trade, can be addressed;

9.  Urges senior government figures and public servants of goodwill in Zimbabwe to insist that Mugabe and his closest associates step down from office in order to spare their countrymen further suffering and expedite Zimbabwe’s rehabilitation into the international community;

10.  Calls for the urgent opening of formal talks between the Government of Zimbabwe and opposition representatives with a view to establishing a respectable interim coalition of national unity prior to a representative government being freely and fairly chosen in properly managed and internationally monitored elections;

11.  Welcomes interventions from church leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s statement following the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Nigeria, but calls upon eminent personalities in southern Africa, who in their struggle for freedom fought against everything that Mugabe now stands for, to use their influence to bring about change for the better in Zimbabwe;

12.  Calls upon all representatives of EU Member States to refuse to meet members of the ZANU-PF regime and others banned from travelling to the EU, regardless of location;

13.  Calls upon the sporting federations of EU Member States which are due to play matches in Zimbabwe this year to refuse to play sport in that country at this time;

14.  Calls upon the international donor community, as a matter of great urgency, to provide adequate funding to meet the requirements of the UN World Food Programme, working through international agencies, to alleviate the humanitarian suffering in Zimbabwe caused by Mugabe’s actions;

15.  Calls upon those EU Member States in the UN Security Council to galvanise the international community into coordinated and effective action to resolve the appalling situation in Zimbabwe;

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the governments of the Member States, the EU-ACP Council, the Government and Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Government and Parliament of South Africa, the UN Secretary-General, the Presidents of the Commission and Council of the African Union, the Secretary-General of SADC, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, former South African President Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and appropriate presidents of sporting federations.