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Debates
Tuesday, 6 February 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

14. Situation in Zimbabwe (debate)
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  Geoffrey Van Orden, on behalf of the ECR Group . – Mr President, I speak as Chairman of the Friends of Zimbabwe in the European Parliament. We can only welcome the overthrow of Mugabe’s tyranny that took place last November, but I want to look forward now and there is indeed hope for the people of Zimbabwe. The international community needs to help reinforce that hope.

Morgan Tsvangirai was mentioned, and I want to put on record our admiration for Morgan Tsvangirai as the MDC leader who campaigned over so many years for democratic change in Zimbabwe. He seriously ill at the moment. I hope I can speak on behalf of all Parliament in saying we send our best wishes to him for a strong recovery.

I wrote to Emerson Mnangagwa immediately before he became President urging him to initiate the much—needed political, economic and social changes to set Zimbabwe on a fresh course. He must be assured that if he does the right thing then we will give Zimbabwe every possible support, but we need to know that the Zimbabwean authorities are indeed committed to a new path. That means action against political thugs. Just four days ago Joice Mujuru and her supporters were injured by such thugs on their way to a political meeting in the Glen Norah suburb of Harare. Violence and intimidation has to stop.

I am most encouraged by what Ms Mogherini had to say on the subject of support for the elections to make sure they are indeed credible elections, and indeed on an economic package.

The possibility of Zimbabwe rejoining the Commonwealth is under active consideration. I very much hope the Zimbabwean Government will commit itself to this and it will be invited to send observers to the CHOGM meeting in London.

 
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