Zimbabwe's Upcoming Elections Are A Political Charade: Former US Envoys

5 years agoSat, 28 Jul 2018 09:20:02 GMT
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Zimbabwe's Upcoming Elections Are A Political Charade: Former US Envoys

In an article published by the US Council on Foreign Relations titled Zimbabwe’s Upcoming Election Is a Political Charade: Why the US Should Be Wary of Engaging Mnangagwa, Michelle Gavin and Todd Moss said after visiting Zimbabwe, they are convinced the upcoming elections are meant to deceive the outside world.

The two recently travelled to Zimbabwe as part of an independent delegation of former senior U.S. diplomats with long experience in the country in order to see what had changed since Mugabe’s departure. Part of the article reads:

Yet the election itself appears to be less an effort at restoring the voice of Zimbabwe’s long suffering citizenry than a charade aimed at the international community. Its shortcomings are overwhelming. Manipulation of the voter roll has been a major feature of election-rigging efforts in Zimbabwe in the past. This time around, the roll has been has been shrouded in unnecessary secrecy and released for review only after it was too late to correct the many errors that civil society groups say they have found, while government representatives have ignored fair questions about the security of ballots and counting systems. No one we met outside of government had faith in the independence of the electoral commission. Despite a provision in Zimbabwe’s constitution explicitly giving citizens living outside the country the right to vote in elections, the government has made no provisions for diaspora voting, which effectively disenfranchises at least one-fifth of Zimbabweans. State media, which is the only outlet reliably available in rural areas, remains heavily biased toward the ruling Zimbabwe African Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) party.

The two former envoys urge the United States to proceed with caution and stand with the people of Zimbabwe by holding their government to its own standards, clearly articulated in Zimbabwe’s constitution.

More: Foreign Affairs

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