The EU last Friday removed 51 people, including journalists and politicians, as well as 20 companies from sanctions, but retained 112 other individuals and 11 entities on the visa ban and asset freeze list for another six months.
Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo questioned why some individuals including himself were removed from the sanctions list, yet others like President Robert Mugabe, his top lieutenants and security chiefs were still on EU travel ban.
“Removing a limited number of individuals from the sanctions list is meaningless and of no value,” he said.
“We want all people to be removed from the list because the sanctions are racist and illegal as they were not approved by the United Nations.”
But political analysts Charles Mangongera said the move by the EU was a political strategy which could ultimately weaken Zanu PF as questions would be raised as to why certain individuals were removed from the sanctions list, while others remained.
“It remains to be seen how the political gladiators will respond, but such positive moves by the EU may entice them to agree to more reforms,” said Mangongera.
In easing the restrictive measures, the EU said it was recognising progress made thus far while affirming its desire to engage in serious political dialogue with Zimbabwe.
Foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton said to facilitate the process, the bloc had also suspended travel restrictions on Foreign Affairs minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and his Justice counterpart, Patrick Chinamasa to allow the two to travel to Brussels for high-level consultations as part of the Zimbabwean Ministerial Re-engagement team.
Journalists, politicians off sanctions list
Among the people removed from the sanctions list are former Masvingo Governor Josaya Hungwe, Jocelyn Chiwenga, and prominent businessmen Billy Rautenbach and John Bredenkamp.
Journalists such as Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s Reuben Barwe, Judith Makwanya and Happison Muchechetere, as well as Zimpapers Ceaser Zvayi, Pikirayi Deketeke and Munyaradzi Huni were also removed. Tafataona Mahoso (pictured right), the Broadcasting Authority chair also benefited.