The US State Department, plans to impose visa restrictions upon individuals it claims (without trial) to be involved in undermining democracy in Zimbabwe.
They intend to include those who they allege manipulated Zimbabwean elections and intimidated voters. They also want to target those they accuse of disenfranchising voters, excluding political opposition members from electoral processes and restricting the operations of civil society organizations (CSOs) from engaging in democratic, governance, or human rights activities.
In the sanctions statement, the US Department of State also says that the department will target those implicated in intimidating voters, election observers or CSOs with threats or acts of violence. They added that travel restrictions may extend to family members of those involved in these transgressions.
What is interesting is the above statement comes on the backdrop of all election observer mission reports saying that Zimbabwean elections were peaceful and free of violence. So where did the violence being referred to by the U.S. State Department occur, when it wasn’t recorded in any of the observer mission reports.
Questions arise as to how the US government will establish and prove the allegations that some people rigged, intimidated, perpetuated violence and hindered elections, without affording the accused an opportunity to face their accusers, defend themselves in a court, enable them to interrogate and cross-examine the accusers and charges leveled against them, for the courts to make a fair determination and to impute the appropriate punishment and not predetermined blanket sanctions that violate human rights? Moreover, how does the U.S. government justify going on to collectively punish family members of alleged perpetrators who they have not tried and found guilty?
This must be put in the context that the US government was actually the one allegedly caught by Zimbabwean intelligence and other agencies, trying to hack ZEC servers to manipulate the results of the Zimbabwean August 2023 elections, to assist the Zimbabwean opposition to steal power as Hichilema did in Zambia in 2020.
Furthermore, Professor Boemsoeb Park in his 2018 research titled "How Sanctions Affect Incumbent Electoral Performance", proved through regression analysis that sanctions manipulated and rigged 155 elections in 79 countries from 1972 to 2012, in favor of the opposition after sanctions caused suffering among civilians, forcing them to vote for the opposition to try and end their suffering.
He even went further as to use the MDC/CCC party of Zimbabwe as a case study of a party that benefited over 43% of the vote in 2002 Presidential elections, due to illegal sanctions. So how then will the US government counteract the Zimbabwean opposition’s unjust gains from illegal US, UK and EU sanctions that have persecuted, killed, punished and deprived civilians of basic needs and human rights, thus coercing 33% of them to vote for the opposition in 2023 elections?
The State Department’s statement goes on to mention abductions and assaults perpetrated upon purported opposition members. In all intents and purposes, with an improving global image, the EU removing most of its sanctions on the government and rising support in the international community; the Zimbabwean government derives no dividends or benefits from abducting, assaulting, or murdering of opposition members. Moreso when the government of Zimbabwe has refused to call for African Court of Human Rights or UN Criminal Tribunals to try and convict opposition members who use their western allies to persecute civilians (a crime against humanity) to force them to vote for them.
However, various groups that include the military wing of the opposition MDC/CCC (Vanguard which Chamisa was part of) who were trained to undertake military sabotage and insurgent operations by Srdja Popovic in Zambia, alongside Western intelligence operatives and paid agents, benefit more from undertaking such operations and false flags that tarnish the image of the government of Zimbabwe to isolate it and justify further illegal US sanctions without trial.
It is said by security agents outside Zimbabwe that during the 2018 violent elections protests by the opposition, Vanguard operatives alongside paid agents of the West, were armed and involved in shooting protestors and then blaming it on the Zimbabwean government. This is no different to the hackers and communicators caught at Holiday Inn during the 2023 elections ready to announce false results prematurely, had ZEC servers been hacked successfully. Meanwhile U.S. assets in Zambia were ready to invade the country to install Chamisa as President, had the hacking by the Americans been successful, hence Chamisa never really campaigned.
Historic practices of the U.S., CIA and British MI6, illustrate that they regularly train insurgents like Vanguard and then undertake false flags, kill and abduct civilians to keep nations divided and to spark civil wars that open up opportunities for them to invade countries whose resources they covert.
So the question now is how do we know that Western countries and the opposition who have wanted to invade Zimbabwe for over 23 years, are not the ones undertaking abductions of opposition members to justify the perpetuation of illegal sanctions that the US continues to levy without trial or testing of their allegations in court?
Written by Rutendo Matinyarare, Chairman of ZASM.