The United States Senate Foreign Relations committee has passed proposed legislation on the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) of 2001 by Senators Chris Coons and Jeff Flake. Some of the conditions set out by the Senate committee for re-engagement with Zimbabwe include,
• No army involvement in elections.
• Release of provisional and final voters’ roll.
• International observers.
• Impartial Media access for all parties.
• Compensation for white farmers for land.
• Currency reform, including reform of RBZ.
• Genuine reconciliation efforts.
Parts of the bill (in no particular) are as follows:
- Genuine reconciliation that acknowledges past human rights abuses and orders inquiries into disappearances, including the disappearance of human rights activists, such as Patrick Nabanyama, Itai Dzamara, and Paul Chizuze’’
- Establishment and public release, without cost, of a provisional and a final voter registration roll that is endorsed by all political parties represented in the parliament of Zimbabwe and those parties contesting the elections.
- The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is permitted to entirely carry out the functions assigned to it in section 239 of Zimbabwe’s 2013 Constitution in an independent manner.
- Zec chairperson meets with and consults regularly with representatives of political parties represented in the parliament of Zimbabwe and those parties contesting the elections.
- Consistent with Zimbabwe’s 2013 Constitution, the Defence Forces of Zimbabwe —
(i) are neither permitted to actively participate in campaigning for any candidate nor to intimidate voters;
(ii) are required to verifiably and credibly uphold their Constitutionally mandated duty to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons and to be nonpartisan in character;
(iii) are not permitted to print, transfer, or control ballots or transmit the results of elections.
- International observers, including from the United States, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, and the European Union—
(i) are permitted to observe the entire electoral process prior to, on, and following voting day, including by monitoring polling stations and tabulation centres; and
(ii) are able to independently access and analyze vote tallying tabulation and the transmission and content of voting results.
- Candidates are allowed access to public broadcasting media during the election period, as provided in Zimbabwe’s Electoral Act, and candidates are able to campaign in an environment that is free from intimidation and violence.
- Civil society organizations are able to freely and independently carry out voter and civic education and to monitor the entire electoral process, including by observing, recording, and transmitting publicly-posted or announced voting results, including at the ward, constituency, and all higher levels of the vote tallying process.
- It is the sense of Congress that the Government of Zimbabwe and the Southern African Development Community (referred to in this section as ‘‘SADC’’) should enforce the SADC tribunal rulings from 2007 to 2010, including 18 disputes involving employment, commercial, and human rights cases surrounding dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmers and agricultural companies.
- The Government of Zimbabwe has demonstrated a sustained commitment to reforming Zimbabwe’s economy in ways that will promote economic growth, address unemployment and underdevelopment, and restore livelihoods, including significant progress toward monetary policy reform, particularly with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, and currency exchange reforms.
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