This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Plenary speech on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (Zimbabwe)

Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group – Mr President, at the EU-Africa Summit in Libya next November there should be talks on how Mugabe and his close supporters remain a continuing stumbling block in the process of political and economic reconstruction and reconciliation in Zimbabwe. They are plundering its economic resources for their own benefit and they are not granting their citizens fundamental rights. Around 20 000 people living in the outskirts of Harare have been threatened with forced eviction. The Government is demanding a renewal lease fee of up to USD 140, but in a country where per capita income is less than USD 100 this is effectively impossible and this demand is a de facto licence for abuse. In 2005, 70 000 people were evicted and these people still live in dire circumstances. In general, the humanitarian, political and economic situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate and millions of people continue to be at risk of starvation. The country has the world’s fourth-highest rate of HIV and high child mortality. People do not have many chances to grow up in health and prosperity, and if they do they lack fundamental freedoms such as freedom of expression. Zimbabwe ranks 123rd in terms of freedom of the press. The return of independent dailies is a step forward for public access to information, but the situation is still very fragile. I want to draw specific attention to the situation of LGBTI people in Zimbabwe. People need unrestricted access to be granted relief, humanitarian access and aid so that the attempts by Zimbabwe to achieve the Millennium Development Goals can get under way. This is very necessary.