Bite the bullet, opposition tells Mnangagwa

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa will have to keep his word and run a free, fair and credible election if Zimbabwe is to be fully integrated into the international community of nations, opposition parties have said.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

In the wake of reports that the United States government has decided to slap Mnangagwa’s government with a renewal of sanctions that have been in place since 2003, opposition parties said the decision showed the new administration in Harare had done little to convince the international community that Zimbabwe has indeed turned the corner.

MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said his party had no hand in the US decision.

“We really do not have any capacity to influence decisions of the US government. We believe that the Zanu PF administration will be furnished with the full and exact reasons why the sanctions have been extended,” he said.

“We are confident that once free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe, these elections will produce a legitimate and credible result. Thereafter, there won’t be any justifiable excuse to maintain any sanctions.”

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo was not available for comment while party national commissar Retired Lieutenant General Engelbert Rugeje refused to comment.

“Get in touch with the spokesperson. I am not giving you a story, it’s not my position,” Rugeje said.

PDP spokesperson Jacob Mafume called on Mnangagwa to bite the bullet and implement media and political reforms.

“The government knows the steps it has to take to become a normal government. This is still a government of Zanu PF in the legacy of former President Robert Mugabe. The State media talks about the President (Mnangagwa) and First Lady (Auxillia) as if they are the only people in action,” said Mafume.

Kurauone Chihwayi, spokesperson of the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, concurred, saying: “It confirms that Mnangagwa has done nothing to endear himself. The international community views them in bad light. Mnangagwa has a lot of work to do if he wants international respect. Inasmuch as we would want Zimbabwe to go forward, the Mnangagwa administration should do a thorough image cleansing for themselves.”

The ruling Zanu PF party accused the opposition of soliciting for sanctions in the wake of the fall of former President Mugabe in November last year and Mnangagwa’s rise to power on the coattails of a military coup.

MDC-T vice-president Nelson Chamisa, Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Tendai Biti were in the US late last year for meetings with senior US administration officials.

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