Central to this research is an analytical discussion of the motives and implications of the European Union and Norwegian human rights and democracy policies towards Zimbabwe. In discussing this it is vital to understand the human rights and land histories of Zimbabwe. It is equally significant to understand that relations between Zimbabwe and Norway and the European Union go a long way back. Zimbabwe is currently facing challenges related to deficits in human rights and democracy. How can one best understand such challenges in Zimbabwe? It is worth to note that the challenges in Zimbabwe should be understood in a historical context of the land and human rights pasts. In the colonial Zimbabwe land was racially divided and the human rights of other sections of her population were more important than other groups in the same country. The situation was almost the same as in South Africa`s apartheid system. Knowing that this is part of what explains today`s agonies in Zimbabwe is critical in facing the challenges the country has today. The post colonial administrators in the country exploit such a history as a political tool to prolong their rule. The consequence has been that human rights and democracy have suffered. Where do The EU and Norway come in?
Do the EU and Norway have genuine intentions to promote democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe? This book discusses the human rights policies of the EU and Norway towards Zimbabwe. Both the EU and Norway seem to have toughened their stance on Zimbabwe from the year 2000 after the country embarked on the land reform programme. They both imposed sanctions and financial restrictions against Zimbabwe in the name of promoting good governance. To push for the agenda to promote human rights and democracy in Zimbabwe both EU and Norway have partnered with NGOs to pressure and expose the administration in Zimbabwe. What are the motives for so doing? This work asks why the EU and Norway did not demand the government of Zimbabwe to make sure that all people in the country must have equal access to arable land soon after independence in 1980. It also poses the question of why did the EU and Norway not significantly condemn the loss of life in the period between 1981to 1987 in Zimbabwe. And why are they condemning the post 2000 era and not all the eras before then? Is it that the EU and Norway are interested in promoting their self economic and strategic interests at the expense of genuine human rights in Zimbabwe? This research work argues that such a possibility is a legitimate explanation of the motives of the EU and Norway in Zimbabwe? This is all about international realism and the desire by stronger nations to dominate the weaker states. Can this justify the suffocating human rights set up in Zimbabwe today? Definitely not, argues the essay.
Weaknesses in the EU and Norwegian human rights policies towards Zimbabwe have helped the Zimbabwean government to hang on to power despite some objections from a major section of its population. By imposing sanctions, the EU has been accused by the government of being itself responsible for the economic downturns in the country. The EU has failed to send a clear and consistent message that land is a key factor in tackling the human rights and democracy issues in Zimbabwe. By failing to do so, the Zimbabwe authorities have been quick to appeal to fellow African nations to help defend Zimbabwe from imperial motives of the EU and Norway alike.
Do the EU and Norway have genuine motives to help Zimbabwe? Indeed this work also argues that both Norway and the EU see Zimbabwe as platform to promote the western values of fairness, freedom, democracy and the respect for human rights. Most of these basic things are lacking in Zimbabwe today. Where does the EU and Norway differ? The essay argues that whilst Norway advocates for dialogue and engagement to tackle the human rights challenges in Zimbabwe, the EU`s position is much tougher. The Norwegian approach towards Zimbabwe can therefore be critical in influencing the EU and Zimbabwe to resolve their differences and consequently help in the democratization process in Zimbabwe. That both the EU and Norway have genuine intentions for the situation in Zimbabwe to be democratic has been underlined in this discussion and it will remain so.