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Mnangagwa told that he has no choice

by Staff reporter
15 Mar 2020 at 11:08hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been told by his allies that he has no choice but to implement reforms and end human rights violations in order to win over western countries that are increasingly tightening the noose on his government.

According to reports produced by the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad), a grouping of opposition parties seen as sympathetic to Mnangagwa, diplomats in meetings with the outfit have been emphatic that they are not impressed with the government's pace of reforms.

A March 13 report presented to Mnangagwa at a Friday closed-door meeting by Polad's international relations and re-engagement committee led by MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe painted a gloomy picture.

The committee said it met the British ambassador Melanie Robinson on January 24 and her United States counterpart Brian Nichols as well as European Union ambassador Timo Olkkonen on dates that were not mentioned in the report.

The three diplomats and other agencies met by the Polad committee were not flattering in their assessments of the government's track record, the report says.

"Your Excellency, one of our findings was that there appears to be general consensus that as a country we must commit to the speedy and sincere implementation of electoral, political, security and economic reforms as a pre-condition for them to consider reviewing the restrictive measures," reads the report obtained by this publication.

"Their strong argument and conviction is that the process of implementing these reforms seems to be progressing at a snail's pace," the report added.

The United States last week slapped State Security minister Owen Ncube, a close Mnangagwa ally, and Zimbabwe's ambassador to Tanzania Anselem Sanyatwe with travel bans and asset freezes, accusing them of human rights abuses, including the killing of protesters.

Ncube was blacklisted over accusations that he ordered the abduction and torture of government critics, the US Treasury Department said.

The US said Sanyatwe was being punished for directing soldiers that shot to death six protesters during the August 1, 2018 demonstrations over delays in the release of presidential election results.

Mnangagwa's government has hired western public relations firms to lobby for improved relations with the west.

Zimbabwe has also won the backing of the Southern African Development Community and the African Union to lobby against the sanctions.

Source - the standard