Ever since the military coup in November 2017, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) have tried to look cute and act differently than under Mugabe. However, there only been minor changes and very little substance. This has been even more proof after the polls, as the violence, killings and the direct oppression of Movement for Democratic Change – Alliance has appeared. That President Emmerson Mnangagwa wanted a favorable return in the good graces of West is natural, as he graced Economic Convention in Switzerland and so-on.
He has clearly failed as on the 8th August: “On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, the President signed into law: S. 2779, the “Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018,” which amends the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001” (White House, 09.08.2018). Clearly, the Zimbabwean authorities and ruling party thought they could stop this, make sure the Republic was open for business. Now, the economic sanctions will continue, as the trial period and the tests have malfunctioned.
The ZANU-PF couldn’t really change and Mnangagwa shows the world why he was the underling of Mugabe. He was the one coordinating and ensuring that the state, took care of dissidents and opposition. Silenced them and surely made sure they wouldn’t become a hassle. Now, the same figure is in the hands of the army and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga. The army will clearly secure the power, as they are the benefactor of the coup in November 2017. They are now silently securing themselves and using power to intimidate people.
What is in the newly enacted law is saying: “C) Consistent with Zimbabwe’s 2013 Constitution, the Defence Forces of Zimbabwe— (i) are neither permitted to actively participate in campaigning for any candidate nor to intimidate voters; (ii) are required to verifiably and credibly uphold their constitutionally-mandated duty to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons and to be nonpartisan in character; and (iii) are not permitted to print, transfer, or control ballots or transmit the results of elections” (S. 2779 – “Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018”, 25.07.2018).
The army is clearly to partisan and involved directly in the government alone, to the ZANU-PF to be able to stop the sanctions in the previous bill. That now is amended. Really shows the intent of the United States, to tell them to not use the military politically and therefore continuing to sanction them.
As well as this part of the law too: “(2) The Government of Zimbabwe takes concrete, tangible steps towards— (A) good governance, including respect for the opposition, rule of law, and human rights;” (S. 2779 – “Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act of 2018”, 25.07.2018). The ZANU-PF is not respecting for the opposition, rule of law and neither Human Rights.
That is why this law was justified and also the lack of movement by Mnangagwa and his comrades. The ZANU PF had interests in doing so, they do not want to loose grip. Mnangagwa wants power and needs it, the same for the ZDF and the ones who gave him the job. They are continuing the Operation Restore Legacy, but without the crowds and marches. They are now doing it with intimidation. Proving more of the same.
If Mnangagwa thought his footsie for a few months would change this and stop the sanctions. Now, the US Government has shown consistency in this matter. If the Zimbabwe want changes of policy and a bilateral agreement with them. They need to see steps in good governance and actual progress, not just print a few PR Campaigns and walking around in scarfs.
The population of Zimbabwe deserves better than this junta administration. They deserves someone who honor and actually delivers needed services. Now, it is just a government there to eat and intimidate. They are not victors, but another hostile takeover to reign. Just as they have done since 1980. Peace.