Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Matthew Harrington has highlighted that Mnangagwa’s government has tried to change but the pace is not “ambitious enough.”

Zimbabwe is one of the countries that have been affected by the sanctions imposed by the US. The sanctions have been reinforced through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) since 2001. They were also extended just before the 30 July Harmonized Elections.

Zimbabwe lacks a culture of democracy: US government

United States government has highlighted that they are interested in working with Zimbabwe but only if economic and political reforms are put in place. This year’s election was different as the international observers were accommodated, however, they observed that the political playground was unfair although citizens voted freely but above all they alluded that Zimbabwe lacked a “culture of democracy.”

ED’s government should foster implementation of policies formulated

Matthew Harrington pointed out that ED’s government has pushed for change “but so far, the pace and scale of reforms have been too gradual and not nearly ambitious.”In other words, Mnangagwa’s government is full of policies that lack implementation.

The US has applauded Zimbabwe for maintaining peace during the election period. Harrington also noted that the post-election was violent and he made reference to the army’s use of violence against protesters on 1 August.

The ruling party assaults and abducts

“Zanu PF assaulted and abducted members of the opposition in the weeks that followed. It is clear that Zimbabwe has a long way to go… and requires profound political and economic reforms,” ED and government have been trying to push for sanctions to be abandoned but for as long the political and economic reforms are not addressed then the issue of sanctions will remain like daily bread.

Repressive laws must be abolished

Harrington urged the Zimbabwean government to strive to provide for its citizens, respect human rights and vital freedoms so that it fights for international recognition. It has been warned to revise AIPPA and POSA which suppress human rights. Harrington also highlighted that the government should stop the harassment against figures such as Biti and other political players.

“We want Zimbabwe to succeed and would welcome a letter of the bilateral relationship, but the ball is squarely in the government’s court to demonstrate it is irrevocably on a different trajectory,” said Harrington meaning the decisions made by the government can benefit or cost the nation.