Mnangagwa must earn US trust

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government should deliver a free and fair election this year if they want the United States to lift restrictive measures imposed on Zanu PF officials and their associated companies.

It was not surprising that US President Donald Trump last week renewed the “restrictive measures” which were set to expire this month.

Trump emphasised that concrete actions must follow Mnangagwa’s stated intentions to carry out political and economic reforms.

The US president also pointed out that actions and policies of certain members of the government  and other persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States.

Trump, however, sounds optimistic saying subsequent change in government has offered an extraordinary opportunity for Zimbabwe to set itself on a new path towards implementing reforms that could allow the United States to re-engage in ways previously impossible.

The ball is now in Mnangagwa’s court and his government has a perfect chance to do away with the restrictive measures by adhering to a path of reform, more so delivering a free and fair election as well as economic and political reforms.

While countries like Britain, Russia and China have embraced the “soft coup” that ushered in Mnangagwa’s government, the US and other countries have remained sceptical. The US and these other countries are simply waiting for reforms and they will not be acting on promises alone. Their interests aren’t best served by the outcome of the coup of November 2017.

So it is upon Mnangagwa’s government to make a commitment that indeed there will be transformation and that issues of human rights are addressed.

The president has to urgently address the issue of electoral reforms and he should release the election roadmap well before the polls. The issue of election observers, especially their invitation, is another benchmark for Mnangagwa’s government.

With a few months left before the harmonised elections, the observers should have been on the ground already, accessing the playing field and giving their reports so as to give a determined assessment.

The sanction measures will remain in place until the new government proves beyond doubt that they can govern in a truly democratic fashion.

Mnangagwa and his government should know that US foreign policy does not easily change because of  slogans being pushed by the Harare administration.

And as aforementioned, the first of the many tests shall start with the upcoming elections without which transforming Zimbabwe’s foreign relations will not be that easy!


Comments (1)

By the same token Trump must admit and right the wrongs his fellow ancestors committed to black people they used as slaves. Anything else is mere hypocrisy on his part which intention view with the deepest of suspicion.

Masamba Akareyo - Cremora - 11 March 2018

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