A bill before the United States congress has set out conditions that will enable President Emmerson Mnangagwa to gain United States approval and open the doors for international assistance.
The conditions are laid out in the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Bill 2018 and are as follows:
· Establishment and public release, without cost, in both paper and digital formats, of a biometric voter registration roll that is endorsed by all registered political parties.
· An independent electoral management body is selected, the members of which should be nominated by all political parties represented in the parliament of Zimbabwe, and permitted to entirely carry out the functions assigned to it in section 239 of Zimbabwe’s 2013 constitution in an entirely independent manner.
· The Defense Forces of Zimbabwe are neither permitted to actively participate in campaigning for any candidate nor to intimidate voters, and must verifiably and credibly uphold their constitutionally mandated duty to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons and be non-partisan in character.
· International observers, including from the United States, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, and the European Union are permitted to observe the entire electoral process, both prior to, on, and following voting day, including by monitoring polling stations and counting centers, and are able to independently operate in a manner enabling them to access and analyze vote tallying, tabulation, and the transmission and content of voting results.
· Candidates are allowed free and full access to state media, which must afford equal time and coverage to all registered parties, in an impartial manner, and must be able to campaign in an environment that is free from intimidation and violence.
· Civil society organizations must freely and independently be able to carry out voter and civic education, and to monitor the entire electoral process, including by observing, recording, and transmitting public-posted or announced voting results, including at the ward, constituency, and all higher levels of the vote tallying process, including through the conduct of one or more parallel vote tabulation exercises.
The United States would also have to be convinced that Zimbabwe’s presidential elections are accepted by international observers as free, fair and credible and that laws passed prior to 15 March 2013 are aligned to the new constitution.
It would also want Zimbabwe to demonstrate a sustained commitment to reforming its economy in ways that will promote economic growth, address unemployment and underdevelopment, and restore livelihoods as well as account for all diamond revenues since 2000.
Below is the complete amendment bill.