When asked if it was not too early to demand reforms from Mnangagwa just four months into his term, Harrington said: “It took a long time for Zimbabwe to dig itself into this mess, and I think it will take a long time to dig itself out of this hole.”
But he said the repeal of POSA and AIPPA could be done quickly if there was political will. “That could be done now,” he said.
In his State of the Nation Address in September, Mnangagwa suggested there would be reform of some repressive legislation. But there has not been any radical progress.
The Ministry of Information has also begun consultations on reviewing media laws, but on Monday, presidential spokesman George Charamba implied that there was no need to repeal AIPPA.
On factions in the MDC, in view of the fact that pointing Tendai Biti has a seat in Parliament while Nelson Chamisa does not, Harrington said the MDC had always been factionalised.
The main MDC, he says, has “not moved beyond the election” and continues to contest the results. The election playing field was not level, he said, although the election was better than past elections.
“What we would like to see from the opposition is, one; we encourage dialogue between the MDC Alliance and government. We think that’s important. We would like to see the opposition play a role in defining what the important reforms are moving forward, to move Zimbabwe in a different direction, and to play a role in determining how those will be implemented.
“So, we would like to encourage the opposition to engage in that kind of dialogue, and also begin to present an alternative vision for where it wants to lead the country and build public support for that.”-NewZwire