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Yearbook 2012

2012 ZimbabweZimbabwe. In February, the EU decided to continue the easing of sanctions against Zimbabwe initiated the year before. Now the entry ban to the EU for Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister, Justice Minister and 49 other people was lifted, and restrictions on 20 companies were lifted. However, restrictions were maintained against President Robert Mugabe.

Later, during the year, the EU's foreign ministers declared that the Union planned to lift most sanctions against Zimbabwe as the country held a credible referendum on a new constitution, a milestone on the road to democratic elections.

In March, six people were sentenced to fines and community service prosecuted for inciting violence with intent to overthrow President Mugabe. All denied and labeled the allegations as "pure stupidity". They had been arrested a year earlier at a seminar on lessons from the Arab Spring. According to the prosecutor, they planned a similar revolt.

2012 Zimbabwe

According to countryaah, the division of power between President Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC continued to conflict. In April, political violence was reported, and MDC complained that the party's meetings were repeatedly stopped.

A crucial economic battle issue in the government was the law that forced foreign owners to transfer at least 51% of the shares in local companies to black Zimbabweans. Tsvangirai said the law scared away the investments that the country so desperately needed, while Mugabe's law enforcement minister threatened companies with prosecution if they did not comply with the law.

A government statement in July that foreign-owned banks must give up the majority shareholding was condemned by Tsvangirai, who said the government neither discussed nor approved the announcement.

The 88-year-old Mugabe declared in September that a referendum on a new constitution would be held in November and parliamentary elections in March 2013. Tsvangirai's MDC protested, claiming that the timetable was unrealistic to guarantee free and fair elections. Critics said that MDC wanted to postpone the election since Mugabe's support increased during the year, while MDC was shaken by internal strife and corruption scandals.

Human rights activists said in October that the repression used in the 2008 violent election was about to be revived. Tsvangirai threatened to leave the unity government because his party members were subjected to violence. Several of his followers were reported to have been jailed.

In December, the chairman of Parliament's Constitutional Committee declared that a referendum on a new constitution could be held at the earliest in June 2013. The delay was, among other things, that public meetings that would discuss the constitutional proposal were postponed time after time after violent acts.

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