Zanu PF has an important role to play in the country, United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray has said.
He also dismissed allegations his country was against the former ruling party.
Presenting a paper on The Future of US-Zimbabwe Relations, Ray admitted relations between his country and Zimbabwe were like “a faltering joint venture”, which he blamed on both sides, but said he was optimistic these would normalise. He said his country believed all political parties had an important role to play in Zimbabwe’s future.
“The US does not favour any one party over another in Zimbabwe. We want to see an environment where all parties have the same ability to present themselves to the public and to compete to represent the people in government,” he said.
“. . . The US fully believes that Zanu PF will, and should, continue to play an important role in Zimbabwe’s future; we are not anti-Zanu PF and we do recognise the many achievements that Zanu PF has had over the decades for the good of the Zimbabwean people.
“At the same time, we believe that MDC-T, MDC-N and other political parties also have critically important roles to play – possibly in leading, but certainly in contributing to the country’s future.”
The US ambassador said his country wanted to work with progressive elements from all parties to build strong democratic institutions which would move the country forward.
The US would continue to press for the protection of human rights and accountability, Ray said, and would work to promote trade and investment between the two countries while also contributing to the humanitarian cause, including the health and social sectors.
“Finally, as Zimbabwe’s political parties implement fully the commitments that they themselves have made in the Global Political Agreement, as State institutions are delinked from partisan allegiances, and as credible elections are held and honoured, there will be no reason for the United States to retain our current sanctions policy in place,” he said.