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Mnangagwa insist there was "no basis" free elections calls and rigging "satisfied people's needs" – how insulting

19 Mar 2019 at 12:26hrs | Views
"We feel that we are almost two decades behind in terms of development as a result of economic sanctions that have been imposed on us," Emmerson Mnangagwa told The National in an interview in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

"We are saying yes, we wish that these sanctions would be removed yesterday by those who have imposed sanctions on us, but beyond that we should not put our heads in the sand and cry," he said. "We should, with the resources that we have, do our best to attract global finance into our economy."

But asked if the administration of US President Donald Trump had detailed the required reform it wants to see in order to lift sanctions, Mr Mnangagwa said the measures had "no basis at all" and that he would not take action to please another country simply to see them removed.

I salute those at The National Abu Dhabi for asking that question because the Americans had indeed given a detailed list of what Zanu-PF had to do for the sanctions to lifted. The list included:

•    Making sure the 3 million or so Zimbabweans in the diaspora were given the opportunity to register and to vote

•    The country's public media must give fair coverage to all the contestants in the elections

•    The election process is transparent, free, fair and credible, etc.

President Mnangagwa had promised to hold free, fair and credible elections and there was nothing on the US list that anyone interested in delivering on that promise would object to. Nothing! And yet he went on to blatantly disregard even the most basic requirements for free and fair elections such as producing a verified voters' roll.

"We cannot say that there is something which we must do to satisfy America," explained Mnangagwa. "Our concern is to do those things which satisfy the needs of our people."

How does denying 3 million Zimbabweans in the diaspora a vote "satisfy" their needs?

With no verified voters' roll it is impossible to verify who voted in last year's elections, how they voted, etc. By failing to hold free, fair and credible elections Zanu-PF only confirmed that Zimbabwe was still a pariah state ruled by lawless thugs. It is naïve to think investors would want to do business in a pariah state. Who does rigging elections and sending away would be investors help meet the people's need for meaningful economic recovery?

Mnangagwa and his Zanu-PF junta are beyond the pale, the regime should not be allowed to remain in office one more day even as a partner in a GNU. The regime rigged last year's elections, it has no democratic mandate to rule and must be forced to step down, certainly before the 2023 elections.

If Zanu-PF is in power in 2023, the party will rig the elections and extend its illegitimate and tyrannical rule. That would be unforgivable!

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