US approves sanctions lifting law

HARARE - The United States’ Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate has approved a bipartisan legislation that lays the framework for the removal of sanctions slapped on Harare.

The bill was introduced by Senators Jeff Flake and Chris Coons.

In April, the duo led a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Harare to explore ways to normalise relations with the southern African nation as well as updating the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (Zidera).

Zidera imposed targeted sanctions on ruling  Zanu PF officials following election rigging and human rights abuses.

Flake and Coons were also out to explain the steps President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration should take to have sanctions, slapped on it in 2001, lifted.
These include ensuring the country’s upcoming elections on July 30 are free, fair, and credible.

On Tuesday, Flake said the upcoming elections were a once-in-a-generation chance for the people of Zimbabwe to move forward after decades of autocratic rule.

“The Zidera reinforces that if the government of Zimbabwe is serious about bringing change to its people, starting with free and fair elections, it will find a willing partner in the US,” he said while addressing the media in Washington soon after passing the law.

On his part, Coons said the legislation reflected their hope that Zimbabwe makes a transition to a peaceful, democratic, just, and prosperous nation.

“A free, fair, and credible election is a necessary, but insufficient step to increased levels and areas of cooperation with the US,” he said.

“Zimbabwe’s leaders must also commit to a peaceful and constitutional transfer of power in order to reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people.

“We look forward to the fulfilment of the commitments President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa has made to the people of Zimbabwe to pursue broader political and economic reform, and to a deeper partnership between the United States and Zimbabwe as sufficient progress is made on these necessary reforms.”

Mnangagwa has pledged that Zimbabwe will this year hold free, fair, transparent and credible elections though opposition parties are complaining about lack of some tangible reforms, including a clean voters’ roll.

The elections are the first since to be held without former president Robert Mugabe, ousted last November.

They are also the first to be held without Mugabe’s arch-nemesis, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, since the MDC’s formation in 1999.

Tsvangirai’s successor, Nelson Chamisa, along with Mnangagwa, join 21 other candidates who are fancying their chances of becoming president as they have successfully filed their nomination papers.

More than 120 political parties are taking part in the crucial elections.

Comments (1)

Thats a positive step in re-engagement. Keep it up ED, with you we will go along way.

access - 30 June 2018

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