We Do Not Support Political Parties: US Diplomat


American diplomat Robert Scott has refuted claims that his government backs political groups or specific candidates, pointing out that they instead support the institutions and processes that guarantee an impartial election.

In the past the Zanu-PF led government has accused the United States of America through its embassy for interfering into the internal politics of the country.

In 2020, a Zanu-PF official accused the then US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols for funding anti-government led protests, called him a thug and threatened to expel him from the country.

However, Nichols denied these claims.

Zimbabwe is set to hold harmonized elections in August this year, but opposition political parties and Civic Society Organizations (CSOs) have in the past and ahead of the next election raised concerns about the uneven environment in the electoral playing field.

The complaints raised include politically motivated violence against members of the opposition, arbitrary arrests and failure by the electoral management body to avail the voters roll.

The US supports institutions and processes.

Speaking to members of the media in Harare last week, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs Scott said, he was in the country to speak to government officials in respect to the election process, Private Voluntary Organizations (PVO) Bill, debt and errors among other issues.

“Our embassy is also looking at elections in order to support institutions that will make the elections successful.

“We do not support politicians, we do not support parties, we support institutions and processes, ” he said.

Scott further highlighted that the US has supported institutions in the country for decades through implementing partners that spearhead the initiatives.

” ….there are a number of initiatives under way that are driven here locally by local citizens of this country.

“We are not organizing them it is driven by Zimbabweans who are organizing themselves to do this, but we do support that aspiration to be able to go out and to observe elections,” he added.

Asked whether the support to strengthen institutions and processes has resulted into positive change over the years Scott maintained that the support was channelled towards ambitions of the locals.

“I am not going to try to cast better or worse but i am going to say it consistent.

“Our engagement is consistent in this country and other countries but again it’s to support people of this country to do what they do.

“It is a Zimbabwean led process,” he said,

According to Scoot the visit was a follow up to the Africa’s Leadership Summit held in Washington last December which focused on issues such as peace and security, democracy and human rights as well as economic engagements.