9 April 2018

Zimbabwe: U.S. Senators Call For Credible Elections

Photo: This Day

Visiting members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee say Zimbabwe's government must ensure free and fair elections if Washington is to lift sanctions.

Jeff Flake and Chris Coons, both members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters Saturday in Harare they are happy with how Zimbabwe is progressing since the forced retirement of Robert Mugabe as the country's president last November.

Flake urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to ensure Zimbabwe hold credible elections so the West can lift sanctions imposed on some members of the ruling Zanu PF party in 2002 after accusations of election rigging and human rights abuses.

"Nothing will please us more than to be able to play a role in the legislative branch and also to recommend to the president that these sanctions are all to be lifted, and the U.S. and Zimbabwe can have not just full diplomatic relations as we do now for commercial ties and to have expanded trade and to remove individuals from that sanctions list, but that depends as we all know on what happens in the upcoming months," said Flake.

That was a reference to Zimbabwe's elections, expected in July or August of this year. Senator Coons was asked what the U. S. and the West expect from the polls.

"We believe there are well known international standards adopted by the African Union, by SADC [Southern African Development Community], by EU [European Union], by others that show what steps are that go from a declaration that we intend to have a free and fair election, to having that election, and steps that follow after an election to re-establishing the rule of law, to re-establishing a sound economic system that is sound, to re-establishing human rights and respect for others. It is not our place to dictate a particular path or steps," Coons said.

Last month, Senators Flake, a Republican, and Coons, a member of the Democratic Party, introduced a bill to reset relations, including laying out steps Zimbabwe's new government needs to takein order to have U.S. sanctions lifted.


Corruption-Accused Former Minister Chombo Fights for Freedom

Embattled former finance minister Ignatius Chombo, who has several criminal charges following him, on Wednesday… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 Voice of America. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.