The Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday approved bi-partisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) which updates the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (ZIDERA) and sets forth the steps Zimbabwe needs to take to have sanctions lifted, including ensuring the country’s upcoming elections on July 30 are free, fair, and credible.
Said Senator Flake:
The upcoming elections are a once-in-a-generation chance for the people of Zimbabwe to move forward after decades of autocratic rule. The ZDERA Amendment Act reinforces that if the Government of Zimbabwe is serious about bringing change to its people, starting with free and fair elections, it will find a willing partner in the U.S.
This legislation reflects our sincere hope that Zimbabwe makes a transition to a peaceful, democratic, just, and prosperous nation. A free, fair, and credible election is a necessary, but insufficient step to increased levels and areas of cooperation with the United States. Zimbabwe’s leaders must also commit to a peaceful and constitutional transfer of power in order to reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people.
We look forward to the fulfillment of the commitments President Mnangagwa has made to the people of Zimbabwe to pursue broader political and economic reform, and to a deeper partnership between the United States and Zimbabwe as sufficient progress is made on these necessary reforms.