In an opinion piece, The Washington Post argues that regardless of the Constitutional Court’s final verdict in the election petition filed by Nelson Chamisa, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has proved not to be a reformer. The Post argues that Mnangagwa should not continue receiving the benefit of the doubt as he is just like his former boss, ex-president Robert Mugabe. Writes the post,
Regardless of the court ruling, the verdict is already in: Mnangagwa is no reformer and no longer deserves any benefit of the doubt. Instead, the pre-election environment, the management of the vote, and the post-election violence all show why Washington must maintain pressure for a truly democratic transition.
….So what should the United States now do? Washington should not consider financial assistance or reduction of sanctions until the military is off the streets and democratic reforms are genuinely implemented. This remains our only leverage, and we should not yield it lightly. Mnangagwa’s request that the United States approve the elections and “let bygones be bygones” for past atrocities must be firmly rejected. American influence cannot be purchased by ignoring the injustice right before our eyes. If the United States willingly accepts an obvious political charade, then we are reduced to complicity, not agency. Worse, if we decide that the status quo is the best that can be hoped for, we would turn our backs on the countless Zimbabweans who have risked everything to save their country. Instead of resignation. policymakers eager for action should reinvigorate the woeful U.S. budgetary support for democracy and governance in southern Africa.
Despite Mnangagwa’s best attempts to claim a new democratic era, Zimbabwe’s deeply flawed election cycle has only exposed that the new boss is the same as the old boss. The United States should join brave Zimbabwean patriots in demanding better.
More: Washington Post