Elections a closed chapter: Analysts

Herald Reporter
ZIMBABWEANS have been urged to ignore negative comments on the country’s electoral process by the West, with analysts saying the elections are now a closed chapter and the country must now concentrate on implementing policies and strategies that develop the economy. This comes in the wake of reports that EU foreign ministers last week met in Brussels, Belgium and resolved that the bloc’s sanctions against Zimbabwe remain in force until February 2014 despite the endorsement of the polls by the AU, Sadc, Comesa, ACP countries, Russia, Turkey, China and India to mention just a few?

United States Department of State spokesperson Ms Jen Psaki told journalists in Washington that they would not remove the sanctions they imposed on Zimbabwe.

Britain on the other hand said President Mugabe’s re-election could not be deemed credible without an independent investigation into allegations of voting irregularities.

The 28-member EU said it shared “serious concerns” in the initial assessment of the elections by the MDC-T and some civil societies.
Political analysts said it was time to ignore statements by Western countries and forge synergies with countries favourable to Zimbabwe’s cause.
Midlands State University lecturer Dr Nhamo Mhiripiri said it was time such statements by the country’s detractors were ignored.

“Maintaining sanctions over unjustified claims is clear evidence that they were not genuine in the first place,” he said.
“The idea to take the stance taken by the MDC-T and other civic organisations that are externally funded is an indication that they are interested in something in Zimbabwe other than their so called democracy.”

Dr Mhiripiri said it was clear that the EU would never accept a Zanu-PF administration no matter how free and fair elections were.
Bindura University  lecturer Mr Bowden Mbanje said the decision by the EU was not surprising.

“They have taken the stance we were expecting,” he said. “They are wasting their time because the President (Mugabe) has said that its time we deal with those that are willing and respect us. Maintaining sanctions does not help and very soon they will wake up and realise that the time for neo-colonialism is gone.”

Another Midlands State University lecturer Mr Christopher Gwatidzo described the statements by the EU and the US as “kicks of a dying horse.”
“That President Mugabe won is irreversible and they are now crying more than the bereaved themselves,” he said.

While the US Department of State spokesperson Ms Psaki said her country was concerned with the suffering of people, they will continue with the devastating sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Answering a question from journalists on whether or not the US government believed that the people of Zimbabwe had suffered enough, Ms Psaki regurgitated the MDC-T’s discredited line of argument that the July 31 elections were rigged.

“We have made it clear to the Government of Zimbabwe and the region that a change in US sanctions policy will occur only in a context of credible, transparent, peaceful reforms that reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people,” she said.

International observers from Sadc, the African Union, Comesa, the ACP and individual countries upheld the elections won resoundingly by Zanu-PF as free, fair and credible.

Analysts said it was surprising that the EU and the US who were not invited to observe the elections went on to issue a negative report when they were not on the ground.


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