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Zimbabwe Government Sues EU Over Illegal Sanctions

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Bush Era economic sanctions against Zimbabwe do not meet the legal requirements? I'm shocked.

Sanctions: EU gets 2-week ultimatum
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 02:00
Fidelis Munyoro Assistant News Editor

GOVERNMENT has given the European Union a two-week ultimatum to furnish it with reasons for clandestinely imposing illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe or face litigation before the General Court of European Court of Justice for the annulment of the embargo.

The EU and its allies imposed sanctions on the Zanu-PF Government leadership when it implemented agrarian reforms to redress colonial land imbalances.

MDC-T, which called for the sanctions, is not targetted.

In a legal notice dated September 1 2011, the Government, through Attorney-General Mr Johannes Tomana, communicated its intention to the president of the council of the EU, Greece.

"Unless I hear from you in the next 14 days, I shall be taking steps as may be necessary and appropriate to protect the rights and interests of the Government of Zimbabwe and all the natural and legal persons and entities, subject to the restrictive measures in terms of your aforesaid decision," said Mr Tomana.

On February 15 this year, the EU unilaterally renewed sanctions on natural and legal persons and entities on the list to the Council of European Union Decision (Council Decision) in pursuant to Council Regulatory EC (Number 314/2004), which the Government now seeks to annul. In terms of Article 6 (2) of the Council Decision, the council is required to communicate its decision, including the grounds for listing, to the person or entity concerned either directly, if the address is known, or through the publication of a notice, providing such persons or entities with an opportunity to present their observations.

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To this end, the Government of Zimbabwe is seeking a review of the procedural regularity of the process leading to the imposition of sanctions on the victims, arguing that the council decision was based on a manifest error of assessment of the evidence.
"There is a complete failure on the part of the council to discharge the burden of proof in respect of the factual conclusions therein," said Mr Tomana.

A source close to the legal action concurred with the AG, saying all what the EU did constitute a gross abuse and misuse of powers and breach of fundamental procedural requirements.

"We are also challenging the factual correctness of the evidence if any, which formed the basis of decision of the EU.

"There is no evidence on the ground of any credible process, which was initiated by EU for the purpose of collecting evidence, which informed the decision," said the source.

The source added that the EU made decisions on the basis of media reports, reports of the proxy NGOs and other sources that cannot stand judicial scrutiny.

"The absurdity, which is apparent from what are listed as grounds for imposing sanctions on the annex to the CEUD, apart from the glaring violation of their own European Community law and due process in the context of the international law, the 27 EU countries as member states of the United Nations Charter and international law in that regard cannot impose any sanctions lawfully other than through the Security Council," the sources said.

The only institution that can impose sanctions lawfully at international law on a member state of UN is the Security Council.
However, the depth of debate and intensity of calls for reforms of the Security Council raises serious moral questions on the credibility of the Security Council.

Four years ago, Public Works Deputy Minister Aguy Georgias sued EU over the illegal sanctions imposed on Harare, after he was barred entry into London.

The case was first heard in London in March 2007 at the Assylum and Immigration Tribunal with Senator Georgias challenging the legality of the embargo.

He then took his caser to the European Court of Justice but he was removed from the sanctions list last March before his case was determined.

The embargo that was imposed on Zimbabwe, a decade ago, for embarking on the land reform programme to resettle the landless black majority, has brought untold suffering on the ordinary citizens.

This also blocked local business to access lines of credit from international financiers. This year over 2, 2 million Zimbabweans countrywide signed the National Anti-Sanctions Petitions following the launch of the campaign by President Mugabe in March.

The launch drew tens of thousands of people from all walks of life, among them academics, political, business and religious leaders.
Sadc, Comesa, AU, the Non Aligned Movement and other progressive people and organisations the world over have denounced the illegal sanctions, which precipitated the economic melt down of the past decade.

*************

This is from Wikileaks Cables.

Roy Bennett, MDC wannabe agriculture minister and former Rhodesian Front and Selous Scout (rhodesian special forces), on sanctions and ZDERA (which he publicly lied about and said didn't exist, on the BBC's Stephen Sackur's Hard Talk program):

Roy Bennett, in the Wikileaks Cables (Maravi Blog, with links):

" He said he understood the limitations on working with elements of the government because of sanctions and ZDERA ".

This is one of the Wikileaks Cables, in which African American ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, talks to Roy Bennett.

Conclusion:

Economic sanctions, including but not solely travel restrictions and asset freezes of over 200 individuals in the Zimbabwean government and ZANU-PF, as well as a blanket credit freeze of the Zimbabwean government through ZDERA, which precipitated world record hyperinflation from 2002 onwards, are real. They exist, they are a matter of record, they have been put in place to make the Zimbabwean people's lives so miserable that they would join the MDC and overthrow their own government, and are illegal, under international law. They were also intended to limit the support the Zimbabwean government could give the New Farmers and the Fast Track land reform program.

By 1997, the New Labour government of Tony Blair wanted to get rid of President Mugabe, according to Claire Short's adviser Soni Rajan (Source: "Dinner With Mugabe", by Heidi Holland). Not because of Fast Track land reform 3 years later, but because he said no to the World Bank's forced austerity and disinvestment from social services, called Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP), the year before, in 1996. ESAP ran from 1991 to 1996 (google: antonia juhasz imf zimbabwe). The effects of this World Bank austerity program is the 'mismanagement by Mugabe' that they complain about.

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