Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Forced evictions in Zimbabwe

Delivered in Plenary - 21st October 2010

Mr President

I was not going to speak but unfortunately my colleague, Geoffrey Van Orden, cannot be with us this week. He has a long history of criticising the odious and brutal regime of President Robert Mugabe. I think, sadly, the only way we will see the end to the Zanu-PF Mugabe dictatorship is when he is actually taken out in a coffin.

I had hoped that there would have been a chance of reconciliation and peace and a transition towards true democracy a few years ago when Morgan Tsvangirai became Prime Minister in a power-sharing brokered deal, but it would appear that Mugabe has been able to reassert his absolute grip on power and revert to the kind of behaviour for which he is only too well known – namely violence, eviction and repression. Ultimately it is the poor Zimbabweans who suffer in that now almost broken economy. If it were not for the lifeline extended to Zimbabwe as a result of governments like the People’s Republic of China giving them handouts, and money coming from Libya and others, it would not survive.

Recently I have to say I was disappointed by the visit of President Zuma, who came to this Parliament. He came here asking the European Union to lift their sanctions on Zimbabwe because of the refugees flowing into South Africa. I am afraid we must tell Mr Zuma that is just not possible. We have to send a strong signal of disapproval about the way in which Mugabe treats his own people. I would like to endorse the comments made by my colleague, Nirj Deva, before me that one gesture would be to refuse the accreditation of the newly-appointed Ambassador of Zimbabwe to the European Union.