In an interview with The Africa Report in Rwanda on Tuesday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa responded to news that United States Senators, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, want the Donald Trump administration to amend the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 and add tougher steps Zimbabwe needs to take to have sanctions on its country lifted.
Mnangagwa blamed MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa, fellow principal in the MDC Alliance, Tendai Biti and Dewa Mavhinga, the director of Human Rights Watch in Southern Africa who appeared before the same US senate committee on December 13 last year saying they improperly advised the United States. Mnangagwa said the situation on the ground is different. Said Mnangagwa:
Fortunately, Mr Flake and Mr Coons are coming to Zimbabwe. They are going to realise that the distance between Harare and Washington is very wide. This is why they are saying things that don’t exist in Zimbabwe. They only reproduced an agenda of the opposition which they were given last December by members of the opposition but when they come we shall say members of the opposition are here, can you go around with them and find where the military is participating in the elections. (They will find) zero and they will be able now to talk to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and they will get concrete answers; the Electoral Act is there. When looking at what they are saying, you realise that they are not informed. They are just reading the text of the opposition who are afraid of these elections. As a matter of fact most of things they are talking about, during the 2013 elections we came together as political parties and did amendments and on remnant issues which had not been done again we came together as political parties and agreed and made amendments to the Electoral Act as agreed by the liason committees of political parties. That has been done and achieved.
Mnangagwa also added that there is no law that prohibits former military personnel from joining the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).