By John Chimunhu|
The European Union has extended a travel ban and asset freeze on Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace until 2016.
The bloc cited continuing human rights abuses as the main reason for renewal of the punitive measures originally adopted in 2002.
The EU also renewed an embargo against arms procurer Zimbabwe Defence Industries.
“The restrictive measures should be renewed until February 20, 2016,” an EU notice published in Brussels Friday said. “The application of the travel ban and asset freeze should be maintained for two persons.”
Mugabe will only be allowed in Europe on official business of the African Union, which he chairs.
Zanu PF’s deputy director of information, Psychology Maziwisa, railed at the new measures, which came a day before the world’s oldest ruler celebrated his 91st birthday.
“This is a display of arrogance and a total disregard of the re-engagement efforts that have been witnessed,” Maziwisa said.
The sanctions renewal came as a shock to regime officials. Earlier in the week, the EU advanced $270 million to Harare for aid programmes. This was the first direct transfer to the government since 2002 when aid was frozen amid concerns over human rights abuses and blatant election rigging.
(c) 2015 Now Daily. All Rights Reserved.