"No tighter EU sanctions"

Sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) against the Zimbabwean government look set to be renewed this week, but are not expected to be significantly tightened, a European parliamentarian said on Monday.

"I am disappointed," said Geoffrey Van Orden, the British Conservative party spokesperson on human rights in the European parliament.

The EU sanctions, implemented two years ago but due to expire on 20 February, included a travel ban on President Robert Mugabe and other leading officials, froze their assets in Europe and banned the sale of military equipment by EU members to Zimbabwe.

Van Orden, who has been lobbying for "tougher sanctions" and widening their scope to include businesses, moved a resolution in the European parliament to that affect last month.

Van Orden said: "The only change expected is the inclusion of 90 names - 10 more than those contained in the previous list - of Zimbabweans facing sanctions. The list will be updated to include the new Zimbabwean cabinet ministers and all the regional governors. The previous list contained the names of only some of the governors."

EU is expected to renew the sanctions by the end of the week.