VISITING United States civil rights campaigner Reverend Jesse Jackson yesterday said the world will be closely monitoring Zimbabwe to ensure the country holds credible elections later this year.
Report by Feluna Nleya
Addressing journalists after a two-hour-long closed-door meeting with President Robert Mugabe at his Munhumutapa offices, Jackson said it was important for the country to hold free and fair elections to correct its battered political image.
“Elections will be coming up here, which the whole world will be watching. Ensure that election is transparent, free and credible,” said Jackson.
“It would change the whole world for Zimbabwe and the whole of Southern Africa. So we look forward to that occurring.”
Jackson arrived in the country on Monday following a brief stopover in South Africa where he met MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who is on a regional diplomatic offensive to apprise African leaders of the current political situation in Zimbabwe.
Jackson described his tour as a private business trip, adding his meeting with Mugabe was centred on exploring business opportunities.
“We want good relations, we want peace within the country, and between the countries, reconciliation, investment and growth — that’s what we want to happen and it can happen,” said Jackson.
“We are not engaging in any of the local politics. It is your own democratic way. Ours is the reconciliation, investment and growth then, we remove the barriers.”
“We discussed ways to work together to remove (economic) barriers.
A lot of American investors want to invest in a growing country. The sanctions are not total, they are sectional and they are coming down slowly,” said Jackson.
“A good foreign policy is built on international law, human rights, self-determination, economic justice. We think that this is happening. We are anxious for the sanctions to end, for walls to come down and bridges to be built between our two countries. America and Zimbabwe have a lot to offer to each other. We each represent market money kind of location, democracy and freedom.”
Jackson will be in the country until tomorrow.