South African-based politician Herbert Chamuka says the United States (US) government must stay out of the upcoming elections as this will give ZanuPF motivation to rig the polls.
This follows a recent visit by Robert Scott, the United States Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs to Zimbabwe where he emphasized that his country would support institutions and organizations that are promoting the interest of citizens at a time the country is preparing for crucial elections.
“We spoke about upcoming elections, and we all agreed on the need for non-violence, for leaders to continue to call for clear, transparent elections,” Scott said.
However, Chamuka said this stance by the US only angers ZanuPF which feels threatened by such remarks.
“The US must away from the Zimbabwean elections because that will cause more rigging by Zanu-PF because the ruling party will see it as an attack by the western powers. All the party knows is retribution, so any provocation will be seen as such,” Chamuka said.
The People’s Unity Party (PUP) leader said the US must be there even in non-election times as this will show it is for the people.
“Every time we suffer at the hands of Zanu-PF, there is nothing that the US does, and they only pitch up during elections. Worsen the situation, when they come to observe the elections, they too often show their biases towards a particular political party, and this will further worsen the situation.
“It is in our best interest if the US government takes a step back and allows us to conduct this election the way we want. In as much as they want a democratic election for us, they should allow the people of Zimbabwe to lead the way not the other way around,” Chamuka noted.
Zimbabwe is headed for a crunch election sometime this year and already there are serious concerns over the unequal playing field.
The highly contentious Private Voluntary Organizations Bill, which awaits the president’s signature after it was passed a few weeks ago by the Senate has been a hot topic as It is seen as a measure to stop civic society groups from freely operating.
Scott said during his meeting with government officials, he expressed some of his concerns about the bill.
Our meeting covered the PVO Bill (Private Voluntary Organizations Bill), in which we shared some of the concerns that have been expressed by others and I also expressed our thinking about the PVO Bill.”