ED pays price for broken promises. . . as Americans say 2017 military  intervention was a missed opportunity

HARARE - Influential Americans have expressed disappointment with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government for failing to live up to their promises that were made when the country’s former leader, Robert Mugabe, was ousted from power through a military coup in November 2017.

This comes as President Donald Trump has just extended sanctions against Zimbabwe by another year — after noting that there has not been significant reforms since Mnangagwa took office.
Mnangagwa, who was feted like a king by millions of long-suffering Zimbabweans when he took power, has increasingly battled to provide life to the country’s near comatose economy.
This has recently resulted in the country witnessing deadly riots, which were sparked by Mnangagwa’s announcement of steep fuel price increases.

Reflecting on the performances of the Zanu PF leader and his government since taking power in 2017, former United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Bruce Wharton — together with fellow diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield — said in a recent opinion that the country had missed a great opportunity to move forward following the dramatic coup.

“Early euphoria has translated to high levels of frustration by a disaffected and marginalised youth population affected by high unemployment, shortages of major staples and scarcity of foreign currency.

“Hopes that Zimbabwe, through Mnangagwa, would be one of those rare examples of a military coup that restores democracy are slowly and methodically being dashed by a military not willing to allow change. Until recent unrest in response to the rise in petroleum prices and high inflation, most Zimbabweans still hoped for reform of the country’s governance and economic systems and some were still willing to give … Mnangagwa time to show that he is the reformer he has promised to be.

“However, recent splits within Zanu PF and a clear lack of control of the military by Mnangagwa … show that the marriage of convenience between Mnangagwa and the military is unravelling,” the diplomats said in their analysis.

Mnangagwa swept to power in November 2017 when the military intervened in the country’s governance, ending Mugabe’s ruinous rule of nearly four decades. This saw Mugabe being put under house arrest — before the nonagenarian resigned dramatically moments before Parliament started damaging impeachment proceedings against him.

The euphoria which followed Mugabe’s fall led to hopes that Mnangagwa, who was Mugabe’s long-time aide, would chart a different course. Britain and the US were among the countries which dispatched emissaries to Zimbabwe as part of their efforts to strengthen ties which had broken down during Mugabe’s era.

In April last year, Trump sent to Harare members of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including influential US Senators Jeff Flake and Chris Coons — who met with Mnangagwa moments after he had returned from a week-long State visit to China — amid indications then that Washington was ready to consider ending nearly 20 years of Zimbabwe’s isolation by the international community if it held free and fair elections.

Both Flake and Coons had introduced a new Bill to amend the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (Zidera), which meted out punitive sanctions against Mugabe personally, as well as against many of his senior officials and some State entities.
The new Bill, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018, contained conditions which were specific to Mnangagwa’s administration — which Trump said on Monday had mostly not been met thus far.

As a result, Trump extended America’s sanctions against Zimbabwe by another year. Political analysts told the Daily News yesterday that the door was still open for Mnangagwa and his government to show the world that they were different from the Mugabe regime.

“In the context of current US political dynamics and the recent violent repression evident in the Zimbabwean State, it would have been difficult to prevent these measures (sanctions) not being rolled over.
“Certainly, the government could be more proactive in engaging the US on these issues and their removal must follow available protocol and navigate existing political realities. 

“Much more important at this juncture, however, is for the Zimbabwean government to secure greater clarity on stipulated Zidera reform issues and how it is already or must meet reform criteria to prevent the invocation of … provisions that could seriously stymie efforts to access preferential credit options from international financial institutions,” Piers Pigou, a senior consultant at the International Crisis Group, said.

Namibia-based academic, Admire Mare, said Mnangagwa needed to deliver on all promised reforms to prove his sincerity in upholding a new human rights culture in the country.
“More needs to be done beyond aligning controversial laws with the Constitution. Issues like the rule of law, constitutionalism and ensuring press freedom and freedom of assembly are key.

“Reforms are a complicated cup of tea because of the resistance from within, and the attempt to balance off competing interests within the body politic. However, political will often triumphs over such resistance,” Mare said. Another political analayst, Rashweat Mukundu, said Mnangagwa and his government still had time to mend their relations with the US, but everything depended on whether they had the appetite to address issues that had continually exasperated America.

“The good thing about US sanctions on Zimbabwe is that they are on an annual basis, giving the Zimbabwean government the rest of 2019 to address the issues stated in the sanctions law of the Americans.
“It is up to government to study that law carefully and address the issues therein. My understanding is that America has always kept its doors open for dialogue with the government on how these matters can be addressed.

“But more critically, the ball is in Mnangagwa’s court to remove media and anti-democratic laws that restrict not only political freedom, but freedom of expression and to stop the repression that we are seeing.
“So, these are the things that Mnangagwa can address if he is committed to that.

“The sanctions are continuing more as informed by the actions of the Zanu PF government and not necessarily what people may see to be some hidden agenda of the Americans,” Mukundu said.

Analysts have previously said the post-July 30, 2018 election shootings — which left at least six civilians dead when the military used live ammunition to quell a demonstration in Harare — as well as the dozens of deaths during this year’s fuel riots, and the subsequent vicious clampdown of dissenting voices — have dented Mnangagwa’s international image significantly, in addition to harming his chances of getting financial support from Western countries.

In January this year, police and soldiers were engaged in running battles with protesters who flooded the streets of Harare, Bulawayo and other towns — to protest the steep fuel price hikes which were announced by Mnangagwa ahead of his tour of Eastern Europe.

Property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars was also destroyed and looted in the mayhem which ensued, after thousands of workers heeded a three-day strike call by labour unions.

At the same time, security forces unleashed a brutal crackdown against the protesters, the opposition and civil society leaders, in a move which received wide condemnation in the country and around the world.

Comments (10)


Is that so? - 7 March 2019


g40 - 7 March 2019

Even in the Bible, most of the disciples of Jesus Christ and those Prophets in the likes of Moses, Noah, Adams, to mention a few, they broke what they promised God. Its like you marry a woman and you agree everything under oath, then come tomorrow you find your beautiful woman being fucked by a garden boy...what will you do in this case. You either fire here or beat her kapa? The same thing with ED. The evil here are the Americans who want to play the goddish yet they are damn evil. Hence we had wars even in the era of Jesus Christ, Be reminded that all those Kings in the Bible, like King Herod were foot soldiers and once you cross their path, you were going to be killed. Moses, King David, Saul and many others were all foot soldiers who fought to defend their territories. So who are we to be afraid of the Americans. is it because they are rich and feeding our oppositions camps. Neh man, they declared war in that regard. Yes promises were made but as Americans you advised your puppets to go the other way and the as a government, went their way as well to protect the interests of the nation. Abasha oppoistion and its sponsors. The problem with some of our Zimbabwean intellectuals is that, we are now used to donor monies and can not go anyway without USAID and other forms of aid that some NGOs receives from the Americas. Go to hell voorsteerk mani.

Clemence Tashaya - 7 March 2019

Zimbabwe has never received anything from America. But if one asks me what Zimbabwe has received from China, the answers are easy to say. I can start with the National Sports Stadium in Harare, then upgrades of Victoria Falls Airport, RG Mugabe Airport, Kariba Power Station, Hwange Power Station and so on. China has been a friend since the days of the liberation struggle. The USA is struggling economically, with a trade deficit of more than US$600 BILLION in 2018. China has the biggest forex reserves in the world, with over US$3 trillion as at end of 2018 whereas the USA was at number 20 position. This shows you that the financial centre of gravity is no longer in the USA but in China. Those American puppets should know that their master is more of a paper tiger these days

Ndiani Ndiani - 7 March 2019

if they dont matter as some of us here say then lets jus ignore them and do our own thing kkkkkk c if it works with this Chinese collabo kkkk

grace and truth - 7 March 2019

@clemence How much does the junta py young write idiotic trash? If the junta can't deliver on promises let it go. simple. We are not into experiments. They've had 39yrs. Count that. 39yrs. Zim is screwed up as ever under Zanu. Saka what difference do these sanctions make? I hope the US adds more sanctions and bring this murderous junta to its knees. Voetsek mhani

Moe Syszlack - 7 March 2019

Those siding with the junta are dining together with them.Vanotofarira kufa kwevanhu kuti vararame,shame on tou,your days are numbered

Onasmas Njobvu - 8 March 2019

Those siding with the junta are dining together with them.Vanotofarira kufa kwevanhu kuti vararame,shame on you,your days are numbered

Onasmas Njobvu - 8 March 2019

Let me enlighten Mr Ndiani Ndiani, China dd not give Zim. the National Sports Stadium etc but Zimbabweans paid for its construction China entered into a business deal where Zimbabweans paid and will pay for all the quoted construction. Its also wrong for anyone to expect USA/China/Russia to give Zim the world does not owe us our lives and we shouldn't even be going to beg its an embarrassment it shows lack of leadership.

Sinyo - 8 March 2019

Substitute "ZANU" for the word "Zimbabwe" in the above article, and then it's reasonably true. Sanctions against Zimbabwe don't exist. Against ZANU, yes - deservedly so.

spiralx - 9 March 2019

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