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by Staff Reporter 
 24/03/2018

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Members of the United States of America's Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jeff Flake and Chris Coons have demanded that Zimbabwean President Emmesron Mnangagwa and his administration implement a raft of reforms which include apologising for Gukurahundi if the relations between the two nations are to be restored. The US has told Mnangagwa to undertake a "genuine process of national reconciliation up to and including acknowledging and apologising for atrocities in Matabeleland Gukurahundi." 

The frameworks include unifying the people of Zimbabwe by "acknowledging that human rights have been abused, including during the urban land clearances of Operation Murambatsvina, and the violence perpetrated in the wake of the 2008 election against the opposition and citizens of Zimbabwe." 

America also demanded that Mnangagwa take "steps to offer redress or compensation to victims of abuses." The framework also spells out that the new administration orders "an immediate inquiry into the disappearance of prominent human rights activists, including Patrick Nabanyama, Itai Dzamara, and Paul Chizuze." 

Announcing the new measures, Flake said: "President Mnangagwa has signalled his intent to bring about change in Zimbabwe. His words need to be followed by concrete actions. "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." 

"After 37 years of suffering under the repressive rule of Robert Mugabe, the people of Zimbabwe should be excited about the possibility of a brighter future." America also set a pre-election condition for the new administration. "The following pre-election conditions are met: '(A) Establishment and public release, without cost, in both paper and digital formats, of a biometric voter registration roll that is endorsed by all registered political parties. 

"(B) An independent electoral management body is selected, the members of which 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. 

"(C) The Defense Forces of Zimbabwe are neither permitted to actively participate in campaigning for any candidate nor to intimidate voters, and must verifiably and credibly uphold their constitutionally mandated duty to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons and be non-partisan in character. 

"(D) International observers, including from the United States, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, and the European Union are permitted to observe the entire electoral process, both prior to, on, and following voting day, including by monitoring polling stations and counting centers, and are able to independently operate in a manner enabling them to access and analyze vote tallying, tabulation, and the transmission and content of voting results. 

"(E) Candidates are allowed free and full access to state media, which must afford equal time and coverage to all registered parties, in an impartial manner, and must be able to campaign in an environment that is free from intimidation and violence. 

Senator Coons said; "To ensure conditions throughout the country improve, the international community should insist on concrete actions from the new government of Zimbabwe before lifting sanctions and renewing investment in the country. 

"We look forward to visiting Zimbabwe, meeting with its top officials, and assessing the steps they are taking to hold free, fair, and credible elections as well as to advance broader economic and political reforms to improve the lives of all the citizens of Zimbabwe."

Source: Newsday

 
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