US Senator gives polls thumbs up

29 Jul, 2018 - 00:07 0 Views
US Senator gives polls thumbs up United States of America senators Jeff Flake address journalists during a press conference in Harare yesterday. (Picture by Memory Mangombe)

The Sunday Mail

Sharon Munjenjema
Adequate measures have been taken to ensure tomorrow’s elections are credible, and after announcement of results, losing parties should direct any grievances through the relevant legal channels, United States Senator Jeff Flake has said.

The Republican legislator, who is involved in crafting the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Bill, said this at a media briefing in Harare yesterday.

He is in Zimbabwe to observe tomorrow’s harmonised elections.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration, he noted, had put in place satisfactory measures for free and fair elections.

“A lot of the steps that need to be taken have been taken in terms of the potential for free and fair elections. Our hope is that the election results will be accepted and that if there are challenges, those challenges will go through the relevant legal channels. Things are in place for a free and fair election, that’s a good first step,” said Sen Flake.

ZDERA, which has been in force for the past 17 years, prevents Zimbabwe from getting support from international financial institutions such as the World Bank Group and the IMF where the US has an interest.

The amended Bill is understood to be the first step towards normalising relations. Sen Flake said: “We want nothing more as the United States Congress – and I know the administration feels the same — to be able to say that all the impediments have been removed towards full partnership (in terms of) the economy and political partnerships as well, so we can have a relationship that’s based on mutual trust and human rights and democracy.”

The revised law puts an emphasis on free and fair elections as a precondition to co-operation between the two countries.

“Our greatest hope is that free and fair elections can be held … and that additional reforms with regards to the economy and human rights can take place as well and remove any impediments towards economic growth.

“The US is willing to partner and continue our partnership with the people of Zimbabwe,” said Sen Flake.

International observers and NGOs have said the campaign period, which ended yesterday, created conditions for a free and fair election.

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