US burst ED bubble

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been dealt a heavy blow after the United States asked the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to release comprehensive results of the just-ended presidential elections based on data collected from polling stations, in a move that could open new faulty lines between Washington and Harare.

In a damning statement issued just three days after the harmonised elections held on Monday, Jeff Flake, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, said there was need for a proper tabulation of the results.

“In order to instil confidence in the election results, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must now make good on its commitment to release comprehensive polling data in a transparent manner that includes results from each polling station signed off by party agents who were present for the casting of ballots and the tabulation of results. Challenges to the results must be pursued through legal channels," Flake said.

Flake also raised concern over events that ensued soon after the elections, which saw the killing of six civilians by soldiers saying it showed that nothing had changed from the previous administration led by former president Robert Mugabe, who was known for using ruthless tactics against his opponents to remain in power.

“Over the past several days, I have had the privilege of observing Zimbabwe’s historic elections. After decades of misrule by Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe deserves to have a government worthy of its people.

“After a day of peaceful voting on July 30th, the violence on August 1st that claimed the lives of at least six people and injured many more was a throwback to the old days. The use of the Zimbabwean military to respond to political protests, or the use of the police force to disrupt press conferences, does not signal a new era, rather it echoes a dreadful past,” he said.

The US has been trying to normalise relations with Zimbabwe following Mugabe’s fall last November following an army intervention that catapulted Mnangagwa to the presidency.

Flake was also part of a five-member delegation of US Senators that visited Zimbabwe from April 6 to 8, to assess the political situation in the country.

The mission also comprised senators Chris Coons, Cory Booker, Michael Bennet and Garry Peters – all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Then, Coons observed that Mnangagwa was not walking the talk in ushering democratic change as promised, which could result in the lifting of sanctions.

Flake and Coons led the drafting of proposed amendments to the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (Zidera), a legislation that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.

His comments come after spokesperson for the United States Department of State, Heather Nauert also issued a statement stating that they were assessing the outcome of the July 30 polls.

“The United States welcomes the commitment by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to release comprehensive election results in a form that provides full transparency. The United States will continue to review the data collected by its own observation teams, by international observation missions, and by local observers to make a complete assessment of the overall election,” Nauert said.

The electoral contestations put a dent on Zimbabwe’s chances of having the sanctions lifted by the US, after Washington expressed irritation at the manner in which the elections were conducted.

Mnangagwa had pledged that Zimbabwe will this year hold free, fair, transparent and credible elections though opposition parties complained on a number of irregularities, chief among them lack of some tangible reforms and the failure to provide a clean voters’ roll.

With Mugabe’s relations with the West having been toxic for most of the past two decades, the US government has to date been renewing its targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe and the country’s then top leadership.

Recently, Washington introduced a Bill amending the biting Zidera, which introduced tough sanctions against Mugabe personally, as well as many of his senior officials and State entities.

The new Bill, now referred to as the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018, does not only contain conditions which are specific to Mnangagwa’s new dispensation — but if these conditions are met, President Donald Trump’s administration will completely remove the current sanctions and re-establish wholesome relations with Harare.

This comes as the Commonwealth observer group noted that the stakeholders in the elections including political parties and the electorate did not have confidence in Zec’s ability to deliver a credible free and fairs election.

“Although this was the second election organised by an independent election management body, Zec, we noted that public confidence in Zec needs to be strengthened,” the reports reads in part.

“Political parties and civil society, in particular, expressed the view that Zec missed some opportunities to build trust and instil confidence in the electoral process through effective communication”.

The Commonwealth said it will give a final comment in its final report on the issues “including the lack of transparency in Zec’s handling of the printing of the ballot papers, and access to the final voters’ register ahead of the polls”.

Comments (12)

I guess you can't fool all the people all of the time!

Lloyd - 5 August 2018

You title assumes the following: - ZEC does not have the data to back up the results - Munangagwa did not win the election. I put it to you that the tabulated data are going to verify what has already been announced. That said, The Daily News is clearly an MDC mouthpiece - which is unfortunate. Why not just report real news accurately? Why should the publication of data from polling stations be a heavy blow for ED?

Buns Tonobvina - 5 August 2018

On the contrary, the full statement challenges the opposition to back up its claims with evidence. It also refers to the ZESN tabulation which closely mirrors ZEC results. If I had written the same story, I would have spun your intro and said the statement deals MDC-A a fatal blow as he has been challenged to put up or shut. Also, he has been criticised for fanning violence. Isn't that a better story? Anyway, why would anyone lend credence to what the US, a major violator of human rights says? Black people are shot in the US for putting their hands in their pockets, literary!!

James Bond - 5 August 2018

If the results are as genuine as some independent NGO's have echoed, there are no worries for ED but could cast a huge shadow of doubt and mistrust for the MDC.

Ace - 6 August 2018

A smile does not necessarily indicate goodwill. The usually stony-faced ED has been smiling a great deal lately. However, the tragic loss of life due to the government's heavy handed deallng with dissent over the results of another disputed election should be a wake-up call to concerned citizens. It should be clear that ED stood by the old dictator's side for 37 years; a situation that provided him adequate time to study the intricacies about repressive rule based upon brutality and deception. Given the presence of those factors, why then would any sane person expect a different dispensation from Mugabe's most faithful student?

Essexvale - 6 August 2018

Our media should learn to be neutral and impartial when reporting. The chasms between our people and in our nation is also due to partisan journalism which becomes amateurish in its reporting (speculative). The US govt have REQUESTED NOT ASKED ( Zimbabwe is a sovereign state not answerable to the Washington) ZEC to release a more detailed report of the election results. Whatever the outcome someone is going to end up with egg on their face. Instability, fingerpointing, witch hunting, enmity lines clearly drawn out in the sand will excerbate the fragile and highly fractured Zimbabwean. And the media is stocking the fires well. At the downfall of Mugabe our nation was united, this past election has divided us again. Zimbabwe desperately needs nation builders - every Zimbabwean is responsible in bringing peace, healing, forgiveness to our divided nation. May God help us. May our politicians show maturity and reach out to each other. The maturity that Dr. Nkomo and Mr. Tsvangirai showed to reach out to Zanu PF should also be displayed by the opposition MDC. May President Mnangagwa also extend a hand to Chamisa. We need every Zimbabwean at the wheel to rebuild our nation. Together we can build and restore our nation's glory. Depending on external influence to bring sanity is temporary. Sanctions have mainly hurt the common man not those targeted. Zimbabwe is rising again! God bless Zimbabwe!

Daniel 5 - 6 August 2018

Some folks seem to have their brains invaded by worms. Nation building will not come from this government, they have been destroying the country on their own all along, now they want to rope in everyone to clear THEIR mess? Excuse me, leave if you can't fix the problems. The deceit, the cheating, the murdering without remorse will not bring God to bless us no, he'll curse us.

Sagitarr - 6 August 2018

Zimbos stop being myopic, do you think honestly ED is Zim's savior, forget, the architect of gukurahundi, murambatsvina, 2008 re-run genocide, surely you going too far with your expectations, expecting a leopard to shade off its spots.

Kufandada - 6 August 2018

Haaaa my fellow countrymen,this issue is serious,this time Zanu made a wrong move.I think Chigumba was forced to announce fake results and the Junta regime has no paper work to backup its claims of victory.Wats bad is bad,so lets not critize Chamisa if he has the evidence let him prove it in the courts of law.If it was Mnangagwa saying he has proof that he was rigged in favour of Chamisa mungadai muchiti.Tisadaro maZIMBABWEANS.

CDE Chisaaaaa - 6 August 2018

How ironic is the US. They need to deal with their issues first, the butchering of black people by police. They should focus on their own. Daily News is a disgrace, Nelson Chamisa should provide proof as time is not on his side, one might argue that he is cooking up something because this is a delicate issue. Chamisa has always been a ticking time bomb, he is overly emotional and overzelous for no reason. He does not deserve to be President.

Muwoni - 7 August 2018

it's interesting that the person who killed my young brother is the one to bring food at the funeral and everybody said, "what a good man to feed the hungry people at the funeral". All cheaters and liars are known by God, therefore, let them lie and cheat today but soon they will cheat no more. Give them 30 more years everything will be history. Why 30 years? 40 + 30. They used the 40yrs already in 30 years the lion will be eating grass. Remember my name in 30 years time. The truth has been told.

Mr. Zim - 8 August 2018

Zimbawe is tired smith really tried and left some things mugabe wrecked havoc and destroyed everything smith had build now ed wants to restore the things he helped destroyed with bob. its not gonna bcoz he starts off by stealing an election,dirty even bob had clean win not this day robbery

mr bond - 9 August 2018

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