US sets conditions for removal of Zim sanctions

23 Mar at 11:40

The United States of America says targeted sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe can only be removed if President Emmerson Mnangagwa`s government introduce political and economic reforms.

In 2003 the then president George W. Bush introduced targeted sanctions at former president Robert Mugabe`s government.

Mugabe was accused of undermining the democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe as well gross human rights violations.

On Thursday, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee introduced a bill to lay the framework for U.S. relations with the new government in Zimbabwe.

Since assuming power through a military coup, President Mnangagwa has committed himself to introducing political and economic reforms and is now known for his “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra.

He has also promised that the upcoming harmonised will be free and fair and he has insisted that he will step down is he loses the election.

However, America insists that Mnangagwa has to walk the talk.

“President Mnangagwa has signalled his intent to bring about change in Zimbabwe. His words need to be followed by concrete actions,” said US Senator Jeff Flake.

“This measure outlines steps that, if taken, would go a long way to demonstrate that President Mnangagwa is earnest in his desire to bring about long-overdue change for the people of Zimbabwe, who suffered under authoritarian rule for far too long.”

According to the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Bill of 2018, the Zimbabwean government must release the Biometric Voters Roll and it must be endorsed by all political parties.

Section 6 of the Bill sub-section (b) insists that, ‘An independent electoral management body is selected, the members of which 15 should be nominated by all political parties represented in the parliament of Zimbabwe, and permitted to entirely carry out the functions assigned to it in section 239 of Zimbabwe’s 2013 constitution in an entirely independent manner”.

Some of the conditions also include the army not participating in the country`s political arena, good governance, including respect for opposition, rule of law, and human rights; and economic reforms such as respect for contracts and private property rights

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