(Last Updated on March 23, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – The United States is ‘closely’ monitoring the events in Zimbabwe, including the latest recall of six elected opposition legislators from Parliament, a US government official has said.
This follows the recent recall of MDC Alliance members including the party’s Vice President Tendai Biti.
In a statement, the US spokesperson Ned Price accused the government of supporting manoeuvres that were undermining democracy.
“The United States is following events in Zimbabwe closely, including the troubling moves on March 17 to strip Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC Alliance) Vice President Tendai Biti and other MDC Alliance members of their elected seats in parliament.
“Since March 2020, parliamentary maneuvers supported by the Zimbabwean government have led to the ouster of 39 MDC Alliance MPs and 81 local elected officials. These actions subvert the will of voters, further undermine democracy, and deny millions of Zimbabwean citizens their chosen representation,” Price said.
Price said the US was monitoring efforts by the Zimbabwean government to dismantle opposition through several tactics such as selective enforcement of the Covid-19 regulations.
“We continue to monitor efforts by the government to dismantle the MDC Alliance through the arrest and detention of its leaders and diversion of its assets.
“We also note the government’s selective enforcement of COVID-19 regulations to indefinitely postpone by-elections and prohibit MDC Alliance gatherings, while permitting internal elections and gatherings for the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF) party and its allies to go forward.
“The ZANU–PF is misusing the levers of government to silence critics, neutralize opposition, and entrench its political power over the Zimbabwean people,” he added.
He further called on the government to respect the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and other international commitments.
According to the MDC Alliance, Biti was allegedly spearheading a massive anti-corruption drive through the Public Accounts Committee and his recall was meant to derail these efforts.
The opposition party also accused ZANU-PF of trying to decimate opposition politics in the country in order to establish a one-party state.