Former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs at the US Department of State (2007-2008) Todd Moss, says there is a likelihood that sanctions on Zimbabwe might be tightened.
According to Moss the tightening of the measures will be a result of the failure of the Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime to reform.
In an interview on The Insight with Bernard Mpofu, Moss said the decision to tighten sanctions will not be random but will be based on hard evidence.
“I would expect the US sanctions against Zimbabwe not just to stay but probably tighten and by tightening I mean adding individuals to the list.
“However, there is a process for adding people to the sanctions list and that process is not random it is based on hard evidence,” Moss said.
He added that the Mnangagwa led administration plundered an opportunity to repair relations with the West.
“Clearly the current administration tried to foster new relations with the West. There was a window to repair relations with the west and unfortunately, that window was completely lost.
“There was a long list of promises that the Zimbabwean government was making both to the outside world but more importantly to Zimbabwean citizens.
“The US government was skeptical that he (Mnangagwa) will deliver and that skepticism has gone out given the terrible results that the government has displayed,” he said.
There is still hope for Zimbabwe
Despite the likelihood of sanctions staying, Moss added that there is still hope for Zimbabwe if Mnangagwa undertakes meaningful reforms.
“The reform process has to have some real progress. Billboards promising jobs and proper healthcare are one thing when you are locking up journalists and thwarting the democratic space. The way for Zimbabwe to repair its relations with the West is to make those reforms real,” he said.
Since the inception of the Mnangagwa’s regime in November 2017, several journalists and human rights activists have been arrested, tortured and harassed.
Notable among journalists include investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, Frank Chikowore (VOA) and Samuel Takawira (263 Chart).
Human rights activist include Namatai Kwekweza (WeLead) Takudzwa Ngadziore (Zinasu), Alan Moyo (student), Tsitsi Dangarembga and several lawyers.
According to Moss, the other problem for Zimbabwe is that the country is under military control.
“The military shows up and decided to stay. Mnangagwa is not new to Zimbabwean politics he has been with (Robert) Mugabe since before independence. The coup which was announced by a general was a sign that there was no intention of handing back power to the citizens to initiate the reform process. The outside world knows who (Constantino) Chiwenga is and his role in the 2008 elections,” said Moss.
US might tighten sanctions on Zimbabwe: Todd Moss