A close ally of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has accused a European Union delegation which visited the country of seeking to undermine its power-sharing government, state media reported today.
The visit by EU Aid and Development Commissioner Karel De Gucht and the Swedish EU presidency was the first since the EU began targeted sanctions in 2002 against members of Mugabe’s government for alleged human rights violations.
The EU delegation said relations with Zimbabwe were entering a “new phase” but full cooperation hinged on the implementation of power-sharing and an end to rights abuses, Reuters reports.
Zimbabwean Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa accused the EU delegation of siding with Mugabe rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party during the weekend talks, state-controlled Herald newspaper reported.
“They seem to want to undermine the inclusive government. They speak as much as the MDC. They just swallow, hook, line and sinker what the MDC says,” Chinamasa was quoted as saying.
Power sharing between Mugabe and Tsvangirai has been beset with problems as their parties accuse each other of stalling the process by not fully implementing the deal.
Zimbabwe says it needs $10 billion in foreign reconstruction aid. Western nations are reluctant to release cash without further political and economic reform promised as part of the power-sharing pact, called the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Tsvangirai said yesterday he would not tolerate persecution of members of parliament or violation of the law by Mugabe.
The EU remains the main overall donor to Zimbabwe, having provided €572 million in humanitarian aid to the country since 2002, despite the targeted sanctions and strained relations.
Pic: President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe