The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Ndavaningi Nick Mangwa has scoffed at the United States of America’s calls for reform.
Writing on his Twitter handle, Mangwana castigated what he calls astounding duplicity. He wrote:
We are told that certain countries have transparency and accountability so they can interfere in our domestic affairs telling us charge so and so and release the other of not sanctions won’t be removed?[sic] What is this? The duplicity is simply astounding!
Mangwana’s remarks follow reports that US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Matthew Harrington revealed what steps the Zimbabwean government has to take for sanctions to be removed. Harrington is quoted as saying:
The government are saying some of the right things but it is falling short when it comes to concrete actions.
There are some steps the government could take to demonstrate it is serious about improving the rule of law and respect for human rights in Zimbabwe.
It could repeal POSA (Public Order and Security Act) and AIPPA (Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act), two laws long emblematic of a repressive regime.
It could stop using the army to harass and intimidate citizens who exercise their fundamental right to free speech, and it could hold accountable those members of the security services who have abused their fellow citizens.