The United States had expectations for a free and fair election in Zimbabwe but has not been convinced by the outcome and handling of the recent elections.
Since 2001, the United States had a special sanctions bill (ZIDERA) against Zimbabwe just waiting in the Oval office for the president’s signature.
President Donald Trump last week signed into law the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act (ZIDERA).
Under Robert Mugabe rule, the United States never approved of elections held in Zimbabwe as they comprised of violence, rigging and various anomalies not fit in a democracy.
And in the just concluded elections, the military government that is trying to promote its civilian face has also failed to meet the US requirements as outlined in the bill. The US still finds no rule of law, freedom of expression, free and fair elections.
“The expectations of the 2001 legislation hold true today – Zimbabwe must make credible progress towards holding free and fair elections, restore the rule of law and ensure military subordination to the civilian government, among other desperately needed reforms,” said the US in a presser released by its Foreign Affairs Committee ahead of elections.
The ZIDERA law is seen as a major blow to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s campaign that Zimbabwe is open for business.
Several Zimbabwean companies have had their export receipts, amounting to millions of dollars, seized over the years by the Office of Foreign Assets Control owing to the sanctions.
Notable companies that were on the sanctions list include Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed ZB Financial Holdings and its subsidiaries, as well as the Industrial Development Corporation, a government-owned entity.
The Zidera act means that Zimbabwe’s economy is likely to continue suffering as sanctions will continue.
However, Dr Sibusiso Moyo, Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister said Monday that his country will continue to re-engage the United States of America despite the regrettable signing ZIDERA into law.
“While we regret that ZIDERA continues to exist in any form, we are determined to continue in the re-engagement with the US administration, as we together seek to restore our bilateral relations to normalcy,” he said.
He said ZIDERA was not only affecting a few individuals in Government but the entire country.
Dr Moyo said all international business transactions by Zimbabwean people were blocked by the US Government through the Office of Foreign Assets Control.