The United States is pressuring Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa to implement electoral reforms as the South African country prepares for a crucial by-election in March.
Zimbabwe will hold 133 by-elections to fill the vacant National Assembly occupy local government seats after President Mnangagwa lifted a two-year suspension of elections due to Covid-19 earlier this month.
In 2023, Zimbabwe will hold general elections in which the 79-year-old leader will seek a second full candidacy tenure.
The US embassy in Harare says the post-Robert Mugabe administration failed to deliver on its promise to create an environment conducive to “free, fair and credible elections”.
She said she will use social media to urge Harare authorities to reform and ensure future elections are credible.
“Many continue to ask (the independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, ZEC ),” the embassy said on Twitter.
“(Electoral reform in Zimbabwe). s to allow the ZEC to carry out its constitutional mandate without political interference.
“To ensure the independence of the ZEC, electoral reform in Zimbabwe would allow the head of the ZEC to freely associate with political parties to meet and consult, contest the elections, and interference from outside agencies such as the Justice Department, Department of Home Affairs and the Cabinet.”
The US said it was also necessary for security forces to withdraw from Zimbabwe Keep away from electoral processes.
“Zim’s constitution enshrines the principle of a (bipartisan Zimbabwe Defense Forces) subordinate to a civilian authority.
“Zimbabwe’s electoral reform means that the defense forces do not intimidate or interfere with electoral administration.
“Instead, they must protect the constitutional rights of all citizens.”
The American Embassy added: “Electoral reform in Zimbab we means the government will stop ordering traditional and local party leaders to use humanitarian aid to pressure citizens to vote for a particular election Government treats all people equally and fairly.
“Yet partisan distribution of humanitarian aid, agricultural inputs and other public services in exchange for votes continues.”
After the overthrow of Mr Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for almost 40 years, the US claimed in 2017 that it would only restore normal relations with Harare after implementing electoral and political reforms.
President’s government Mnangagwa said the US embassy’s tweets were an interference in the country’s internal affairs.
“I just wonder how the US State Department would react or feel if the embassy of Zimbabwe in Washington would tweet about the US Army,” said government spokesman Nick Mangwana.
“Even if they were tweeting about actual reprehensible behavior in Iraq and Afghanistan. What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.”
The US imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe nearly two decades after accusing the government of electoral fraud and human rights abuses.