The United States says President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government should conduct major electoral reforms by ensuring that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is capable of conducting free, fair and credible elections.
In a series of tweets, the U.S. Embassy Harare, said, “Many continue to question #ZECIndependence. #ZimElectoralReform means allowing the ZEC to fulfill its constitutional mandate without political interference.
“To ensure ZECIndependence, #ZimElectoralReform would allow the ZEC Chair to freely meet and consult political parties contesting elections and prohibit interference from outside entities such as the Ministries of Justice, Home Affairs, and the Cabinet.”
The United States further noted that there is need for security forces to stay away from the electoral process.
“Zim’s constitution enshrines the principle of a #NonPartisanZDF subordinate to civilian authority. #ZimElectoralReform means defense forces must not intimidate voters or interfere in election administration. Instead, they must protect the constitutional rights of all citizens.”
The American government also said, “#ZimElectoralReform means the government stops directing traditional and local party leaders to use humanitarian aid to pressure citizens to vote for a specific party.
“The Zimbabwean constitution guarantees the government will treat all persons equally and fairly. And yet partisan distribution of humanitarian assistance, agricultural inputs, and other public services in exchange for votes continues. #ZimLivesMatter.”
The U.S. cited a case of a Zimbabwean who was killed for allegedly trying to find out how food distribution is conducted.
“… Mazwi Joseph Ndlovu asked about the politics behind food aid in his community. For this, he was beaten and died three days later. No one should die for exercising their rights. When will his murderers face justice?”
Reacting to the tweet, Zimbabwe’s Information Secretary, Nick Mangwana, said, “Am just wondering how the US State Department would respond or feel if the Zimbabwean Embassy in Washington were to tweet about US Army. Even if they were to tweet on actual condemnable behavior in Iraqi and Afghanistan. What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.”
Some respondents also took a swipe at the U.S claiming that its own electoral process is flawed but Zimbabwe has not condemned the manner in which they vote in state and national elections.