Exiled former Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, has said it is absurd for the United States of America’s Embassy in Zimbabwe to say the Southern African country should implement electoral reforms based on ZIDERA.
Moyo was responding to an article by NewsDay which reported that the embassy had expressed concern over the political landscape in the country and particularly the political violence that was witnessed in the run-up to the 26 March by-elections.
The embassy posted on Twitter urging the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to implement guidelines in ZIDERA which confirmed the US’ imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2001 following the chaotic land reform programme by the administration led by the late former president Robert Mugabe. Posted the embassy:
We appreciated the opportunity to observe by-elections, but remain very concerned about harsh rhetoric, intimidation and violent assaults in the lead-up to election day. Voters have the right to participate in political processes free from fear and violence. Zidera requires Zimbabwe to hold an election ‘widely accepted as free and fair by independent international monitors,’ and to sufficiently improve the pre-election environment to be consistent with international standards.”
In response, Moyo suggested that ZEC should be guided by the national constitution where it derives its mandate. He said:
While Uncle Toms will applaud this, it’s ludicrous for @USEmbZim to attack @ZECzim and call for reforms based on ZDERA, an anti-Zim US law; and not on the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which setup #ZEC!
Meanwhile, some observers say the requirements in ZIDERA are consistent with the provisions of the constitution.