There are many Zimbabweans out there who have heard a lot said by Zanu PF members and apologist about the economic sanctions imposed by the West and the economic hardships they have caused to the ordinary Zimbabwean. Two USA Senators on Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on African Affairs, who have just amended the sanctions America imposed on Zimbabwe, have been in Zimbabwe to explain what Zimbabwe must do for the sanctions to be lifted.
It beggars belief why Zanu PF and its apologist have been up in arms demanding the sanctions to be lifted immediately when the conditions being demanded are what every thinking Zimbabwean out there has been calling for decades! Here are some of the USA demands (and comments many Zimbabweans have been saying all along):
· – public release, without cost, in both paper and digital formats of a roll endorsed by all registered political parties
· – must not campaign for any candidate nor intimidate voters, must be non-partisan, and must verifiably and credibly respect human rights and freedoms of all
· – free and full access for candidates, equal time and coverage to all registered parties, in an impartial manner
· – must be permitted to monitor the entire electoral process, and enabled to access and analyse tallying, tabulation and transmission and content of voting results.
1) If the international observers were to make their judgement on the electoral process so far then they will have to come to the same conclusion SADC leaders came to before the 2013 elections – that it is impossible to hold free and fair elections without first implement. “If you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done,” the warned the MDC opposition. The truth is this year’s elections are also “done”!
2) The observers must declare these flawed and rigged elections null and void and give the people of Zimbabwe a chance to finally implement the reforms so they can have their first ever free, fair and credible elections.
With unemployment soaring to dizzying height of 90%; ¾ of our people living on UD$1.00 or less a day; millions of our people scattered all over the world, like fallen leaves in the wind, as economic and/or political refugees; etc.; there is no arguing, Zimbabwe is in a serious mess.
We can come up with a long list of why we are in this mess but these will all boil down to one – we have been stuck these last 38 years with an incompetent, corrupt and murderous Zanu PF dictatorship. For the last 20 years, at least, we have made a concerted effort to remove this Zanu Pf regime but have failed again and again because the regime rigged the elections and frustrated our democratic will!
Since the late 1990s the people of Zimbabwe have been united in our call for democratic change. Morgan Tsvangirai and his political friends taped into this public sentiment and named their new political party accordingly. The people risked life and limb to elect them into office on the ticket they would bring about the democratic changes necessary to stop Zanu PF rigging elections and frustrating the people’s democratic will.
It is very sad that MDC have had many the golden opportunities, the best during the GNU, to implement the democratic reforms but wasted them all.
There is no arguing Zimbabwe is in a serious mess because we are stuck with a corrupt and incompetent regime. If we want a competent and democratically accountable government then we must implement the democratic changes we called for back in the 1990s. The democratic reforms being demanding by the Americans are restating the changes we have been calling for the last 20 years.
If President Mnangagwa fails to hold free and fair elections this year, then the election must be declared null and void and a separate administration appointed to implement the reforms.
The above conditions demanded by the Americans are clearly meant to force President Mnangagwa and his junta regime to implement the democratic reforms and hold free and fair elections. No thinking Zimbabwean out there would want the sanctions lifted if the regime fails to hold free, fair and credible elections. We are in this mess because for 38 years we have been stuck with this corrupt regime, so why would anyone want the sanctions lifted to encourage the regime to rig yet another election!