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with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure
by Pasqualina Napoletano, Glenys Kinnock, Alain Hutchinson, Emilio Menéndez del Valle
on behalf of the PSE Group
on the situation in Zimbabwe

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0628/2008

Procedure : 2008/2695(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Zimbabwe

The European Parliament,

-  having regard to its previous resolutions on placeplaceZimbabwe,

-  having regard to the Council Conclusions on placeplaceZimbabwe of 8 December 2008,

-  having regard to the resolution on the situation in Zimbabwe adopted by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly on 28 November 2008 in Port Moresby (Papua New


-  having regard to Rule 115 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas an outbreak of cholera, the result of the breakdown of basic water and sanitation services, has killed at least 783 people and infected over 16,400 people in Zimbabwe and more than 300,000 people seriously http://www.oxfam.org.uk/oxfam_in_action/emergencies/zim_hum_crisis.html are in grave danger from the epidemic,

B.  whereas the inflation rate is estimated to be in the region of billions of percent, and the last government figure was 231 million % in July – the highest in the world; whereas 80 per cent of the population live on less than $1 a day, without access to basic commodities such as food and water; whereas as a result Zimbabwe is facing a humanitarian crisis of massive proportions with 5.1 million people, almost half the population, facing hunger;

C.  whereas there is reliable evidence that the crisis is growing, not diminishing, especially given the fact that the cholera is spread by unclean water and exacerbated by hunger and clean drinking water which weakens victims; notes that the outbreak is spreading to South Africa and Botswana;

D.  whereas the combination of economic, political and social crisis has taken a particular toll on women and girls and that they are particularly at risk of infection of cholera because of their responsibility for home-based care of the sick.

E.  whereas life expectancy in Zimbabwe has dropped from 60 years for both sexes to 37 years for men and 34 for women in the past decade; and whereas 1.7 million people are now living with HIV in Zimbabwe;

F.  whereas the Parliament has not been able to meet for a month because there is no water supply or funds to cover their allowances;

G.  whereas the Zimbabwean authorities have made it clear that they can´t end the humanitarian crisis and won't end the violent repression of their opponents; whereas there is a clear link between the humanitarian catastrophe and the crisis of governance provoked by the failure of Robert Mugabe to conduct fair and credible elections and respect the political agreement of 15 September 2008 on the principle of forming a government of national unity with a view to ending the crisis, achieved despite the mediation of President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa;

H.  whereas behind the political crisis and health emergency, there is a worsening human rights crisis in Zimbabwe, with the most recent development being the unprecedented spate of abduction of human rights defenders - Jestina Mukoko's disappearance is part of a pattern of harassment and intimidation of human rights activists;

placeI. whereas a number of abductions took place in less than one week, were carried out by people suspected of working on behalf of the Zimbabwean authorities;

J.  whereas the demand for them to be brought to court was not responded to or respected, and their whereabouts remain unknown;

K.  whereas “The Elders”, comprising former UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan, former President Jimmy Carter and advocate for women's and children's rights Graça Machel, have been refused entry into Zimbabwe;

L.  whereas a number of African leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Botswana’s President, Khama, and Kenya’s prime minister, Raila Odinga, called for Mr. Mugabe to step down;

M.  whereas the GAERC in its conclusions of 8 December 2008 decided to add to the list of people subject to EU targeted sanctions,

N.  whereas, according to UNICEF, only an estimated 40 per cent of the country's teachers are working, with only a third of pupils reporting for classes; whereas teachers like doctors and nurses have been on periodic strikes and have been violently repressed by police for exercising their rights to peaceful demonstration;

O.  whereas placeplaceZimbabwe is close to meeting the criteria for invoking the declaration endorsed at the UN in 2005 that there is an international “responsibility to protect” people facing crimes against humanity;

1.  Expresses its deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe as a result of the cholera epidemic, hunger and the inability or unwillingness of the government to control the crisis; calls on the Council and the Commission to reaffirm their commitment to the Zimbabwean people through a substantial and long-standing program of humanitarian aid;

2.  Notes that the EU has just released EUR 10 million in aid and calls on the Zimbabwean authorities to lift all restrictions on humanitarian aid agencies and to ensure that humanitarian aid can be delivered in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence;

3.  Strongly supports the efforts of The Elders delegation comprising former UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan, former US President Jimmy Carter and advocate for women's and children's rights Graça Machel to ease Zimbabwe's humanitarian crisis; considers totally unacceptable that the members of this group were denied an entry visa by Mugabe's regime, since they wished to use their influence to increase the immediate and longer-term flow of assistance to the country to stop the terrible suffering of the people of Zimbabwe;

4.  Firmly condemns continuing violence of the government against members and supporters of the MDC; is outraged by the spate of recent abductions of human rights defenders and calls for the immediate release of Jestina Mukoko, the director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP); Zacharia Nkomo, brother of leading human rights lawyer Harrison Nkomo; Broderick Takawira, provincial coordinator of the Zimbabwe Peace Project; Pascal Gonzo, a driver at the Zimbabwe Peace Project and a number of members of the MDC and civil society activists; and demands the perpetrators of these abductions are held to account;

5.  Supports the decision of the Council to update the list of persons subject to EU individual restrictive measures, in particular by adding to the list names of persons actively engaged in violence or human rights infringements,

6.  Calls on the UN Security Council to consider imposing targeted sanctions (travel bans and asset freezes) against Mr. Mugabe and persons actively engaged in violence or human rights infringements,

7.  Urgently calls for increased engagement of African countries and regional institutions such as SADC and, in particular, the AU as a guarantor of the 15 September agreement, as well as eminent African personalities, in negotiating a fair, just solution to the Zimbabwe situation based on the credible elections held in March, and in monitoring any political-level agreement in a balanced way;

8.  Calls on the Council to remain vigilant in relation to the possible consequences for the region of ZANU-PF´s deliberate neglect and misgovernance that is destabilising placeplaceZimbabwe,

9.  Expresses deep concern about the situation of Zimbabwean refugees in the region and deplores the acts of violence against Zimbabwean refugees in bordering countries; calls on the Commission to support the neighbouring countries with financial and material assistance programmes for the refugees;

10.  Strongly appeals to all stakeholders and the international community to be prepared to support the economic and social recovery of Zimbabwe once a government is formed, which genuinely reflects at all levels the will of the Zimbabwean people, and once there are tangible signs of a return to respect for democracy, human rights and rule of law;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the placeMemberplace States, the UN Security Council, the African Union, the government and parliament of placeplaceZimbabwe and the governments and parliaments of the SADC.