by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE United States, one of the countries that has slapped sanctions on Zimbabwean political figures, has called on rival political parties to engage in credible dialogue.
President Donald Trump’s government said the dialogue must be credible, inclusive and mediated by a neutral third party, not the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) of his colleague Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Robert Palladino, deputy spokesperson for the US administration, said in order for such a dialogue to succeed, the Government of Zimbabwe should
end its excessive violence and intimidation, immediately release the civil society activists arbitrarily detained and hold security forces
responsible for alleged human rights violations and abuses accountable.
“We also reiterate our call for the Government of Zimbabwe to enact promised political and economic reforms,” said Palladino.
These promises were made when Mnangagwa assumed power in late 2017 after the military ouster of longtime leader, Robert Mugabe.
Mnangwagwa also made the pledge last year following his election.
However, the polls’ conclusion was marred by the military killing six civilians during protests.
The security forces reportedly shot dead a dozen more protesters during last month’s demonstrations against economic problems.
US reported at least 13 deaths, 600 victims of violence, torture or rape and more than 1 000 arrests.
“The Government of Zimbabwe’s use of violence against civil society and imposition of undue internet restrictions betray promises to create a new Zimbabwe,” Palladino stated.
The US sentiments comes at the height of calls by African leaders for the West to remove sanctions slapped against Zimbabwe.
– CAJ News