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Zimbabwe Urged to Institute Political Reforms Ahead of 2023 Polls

Outgoing United Kingdom ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Laing has called on government to institute political reforms ahead of 2023 harmonized elections saying it is critical in unlocking lines credit as well as boosting confidence of the private sector to invest with Zimbabwe.

In a joint press briefing with the Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube in the capital today, Laing urged government to complete constitutional alignments in preparation of the next harmonized elections.

“There are a number of reforms that are needed on the political side around getting prepared for 2023 election, it’s never too early to prepare and doing the completion work around constitutional alignment and so on.”

“The international community reforms on political side are also extremely important. We were extremely disturbed by the events of 1st of August and the violence that ensued thereafter. Nevertheless we are encouraged by the President’s commitment to set up a commission of inquiry.”

Laing added that Zimbabwe has ‘enormous’ potential and the UK wants it to succeed saying there will be a dual monitoring of political and economic pathways that she believed will help the country to be readmitted into the commonwealth which Zimbabwe pulled off in 2003.

“So we will be tracking both pathways the economic pathway and political pathway and on the political side we encourage Zimbabwe as indicated its intention to rejoin the commonwealth that will also provide process of the pathway to help Zimbabwe…”

Meanwhile, Laing heaped praise on President Mnangagwa’s Commission of Inquiry saying it is composed of competent people that will deliver results and revealed that the commission will be sworn in tomorrow.

“There are very eminent people on this inquiry and we are very hopeful that they will deliver results and that there will be accountability to this event.”

Mnangagwa’s Commission of Inquiry has been lambasted by the opposition and human rights groups who singled out University of Zimbabwe lecturer Professor Charity Manyeruke, a well known Zanu PF apologist together with the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) President Lovemore Madhuku saying they are interested parties.

Madhuku was a participant in the 30 July harmonized elections and was also cited as a respondent in the petition that challenged President Mnangagwa’s victory in the constitutional court filed by the MDC President Nelson Chamisa.

Laing’s statement comes on the back of the 1st of August shooting of civilians in a post 30 July elections with opposition political activists and some international human rights groups condemning the killings saying the new government which had projected itself as a break from Robert Mugabe’s heavy fist style of ruling had failed to break from its past.

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