Stop Zanu PF: US tells Zim

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa

THE United States yesterday said sanctions alone would not force the Zimbabwean government to end human rights abuses, and urged mass action to make Harare commit to stopping human rights violations.

BY MOSES MATENGA

Speaking in a teleconference with local journalists from Washington yesterday, Assistant Secretary Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Robert Destro said the US respected Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and it was critical for Zimbabweans to work together to end the rights abuses.

“No, sanctioning is not enough, at the end of the day, responsibility to police the boundaries of human rights rests with the Zimbabwean people themselves and we respect their sovereignty,” Destro said.

“Our job is to call the situation as we see it.”

He said the US could only offer assistance within the parameters of “healthy bilateral relations we have”.

The US slapped Zimbabwe with sanctions in 2001 under the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act in response to a series of human rights abuses, including a violent land reform programme of 2000, orchestrated by the late former President Robert Mugabe’s administration.

Hope that the sanctions would be removed died when President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from Mugabe on the back of a November 2017 military coup, deployed soldiers to quell post-election protests in August 2018 and fuel protests in January 2019, resulting in the killing of 23 civilians.

Mnangagwa has engaged three international public relations companies, including an American outfit, Ballard Partners, to help spruce up his image and force the removal of sanctions, but the US has, instead, extended the embargoes by another year.

Yesterday, two US Senators, James Risch and Chris Coons, called for more names to be included on the sanctions list, saying “there remain several others who need to be held accountable” for human rights violations in the country.

Mnangagwa last year cajoled the Southern Africa Development Community and the African Union to call for the removal of the sanctions, claiming that apart from causing untold suffering to millions of Zimbabweans, they were advancing a regime change agenda.

But Destro said the whole issue of sanctions was to get the desired attention and have people work together to have the human rights violations addressed, but refused to comment on whether Washington would add more names to the list, opting to say it was “a lengthy process and quite sensitive”.

Destro’s utterances were made as the US outlined areas the Zimbabwean government has been found wanting on human rights violations since Mnangagwa took over.

Meanwhile, the report on Zimbabwe presented by Washington yesterday gave details on how human rights were violated in the southern African country in 2019 under the Mnangagwa administration.

“Numerous factors contributed to a flawed overall election process, including the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s lack of independence, heavily biased State media favouring the ruling party, voter intimidation, unconstitutional influence of tribal leaders, disenfranchisement of alien and diaspora voters,” the report read in part.

It also blasted police heavy handedness on protesters, saying even though the force was under the charge of the Home Affairs ministry, the Office of the President allegedly directed some Zimbabwe Republic Police roles and missions in response to civil unrest.

Human rights issues singled by the US included unlawful or arbitrary killings of civilians by security forces, torture and arbitrary detention by security forces, harsh life-threatening prison conditions, arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, and serious problems with the independence of the Judiciary, among other issues.

Risch, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair, and Coons, a member of the Sub-committee on Africa, applauded the decision by the US Department of the Treasury to update the list of sanctioned individuals for Zimbabwe to include former army Presidential Guard commander Anselem Sanyatwe and State Security minister Owen Ncube on Wednesday.

“As Zimbabwe’s leaders continue to blame their deepening political and economic crises on the political opposition, peaceful protesters, and foreign governments, they are failing to take responsibility for the suffering of the Zimbabwean people, for which they alone are responsible.

We applaud the United States’ decision last week to extend the Zimbabwe sanctions programme for another year.”

10 COMMENTS

  1. The USA is not as clever as i thought. People talk of dialogue between ED and Chamisa but the real dialogue that should happen is between Washington and Harare. The USA seem to be afraid to dialogue with ED and would rather use the opposition. (Not clever). Just speak to ED man to man and resolve the issues that need resolving. Pangoita zve pride from both ends but Trump and ED should just dialogue and move Zim forward

    • hapana man to man its clear stop stealing elections and disastrous policies that create this bad economy which is bad for our health. zanu wont do it until they do it then it stops but zanu is a communist organization they cant stop being evil, incompetent so they will continue

  2. I actually agree with the USA on this one. These ZANU (PF) bastards need to be sanctioned until they PERSONALLY feel the pain in their wallets. Only then will they try to change…

  3. “As Zimbabwe’s leaders continue to blame their deepening political and economic crises on the political opposition, peaceful protesters, and foreign governments,……””’

    WHICH PEACEFUL PROTESTERS? WHY DO THEY EXONERATE VIOLENT DEMONSTRATORS.? WHY DO THEY NOT PUT ON SANCTIONS THOSE WHO DID VIOLENT PROTESTS?…THESE AMERICANS SHOULD BE UNDERSTOOD THAT THEY ARE NEVER OF ANY GOOD TO ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE. THEY DONT CARE ABOUT OUR RIGHTS THEY JUST CARE ABOUT ”THEIR FOREIGN INTERESTS.”

    THEY FROZE MONEY AND FINANCIAL AID FOR MAJOR ZIM COMPANIES AND STILL HAVE THE GUTS TO SAY ”THEIR ACTION HAVE NOT RESULTED IN ECONOMIC CRISES”’ SHAME ON THEM.!!!!!!!!!!

  4. thats true zanupf is a terrorist organisation they are killers who have been killing own citizens
    the biggest problem in africa is liberation movement they are so wicked that they dont tell each other the truth thats why oau and au are useless because the some thieves runs oau and au its time the world unite and condemn liberation movement who use guns to rule when they cannot lead look at chiwenga and mnangagwa they are all useless but want to rule using the gun and army the army of zim is so wicked they kill own mothers and brothers

  5. Thank you America for standing by the people of Zimbabwe in our fight against dictatorship. MAKE NO MISTAKE, ZANUPF WILL FALL AND WE TAKING OUR COUNTRY BACK.

    NO AMOUNT OF TROLLING OR TV, RADIO PROPAGANDA IS GOING TO STOP US. WE ARE GOING TO STOP ZANUPF FROM DESTROYING THIS COUNTRY

    ITS INEVITABLE!!!

  6. Sanctions only serve to enrich Zanu Pf people.It is evident and it has always been evident.There is no accountability in all the sectors of the econony.So far who is suffering in Zany Pf because of sanctions?Are they not the ones printing money and living larger than life.Remove sanctions and see who they would still blame for the economic crisis.

  7. Comment…NEVER think that the USA is standing by you and is for democracy.They have been sponsoring and supporting dictators and ditch them when they are no longer useful to them.You should learn from other case studies before supporting these American views eg Saudi Arabia.They want use you for their benefit and ditch you and extract your resources only.Firstly they used to sponsor rebels like Dlakama in Mozambique and savimbi,they now see that its an old model of achieving their goals so they abandoned it and designed another model.When you open your eyes they will design another one.Some people are clapping hands and are Happy with these SANCTIONs.Well, thats unthoughtful and unexpected,from a country with literacy rate above 90% .WHETHER, you’re ZANU PF or MDC or whatever party you support we have and are all suffering from these sanctions.we may differ in our thinking but there should be national pillars of guiding principles which should guide us ,that sanctions affect the ordinary people and we should all condemn them in whatever form.Those that are suppose to be hurt by these sanctions are enjoying,and even those in the opposition top hierarchy are enjoying whilst you the ordinary person who is also busy supporting sanctions blindly you suffer.It is now high time we Zimbabweans open our eyes,that sanctions affect us all and we should condemn them.Look at the Americans,Clinton cried when elections were rigged against here.who imposed sanctions on america,none.In fact Clinton said I am disappointed and angry but let us come together and let the country move toward.unless and until we reach such a stage like this, we shall continue suffering even if MDC wins.

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