Stop violence for sanctions to end, Zim told

2012-07-24 14:48

Harare - The United States' outgoing ambassador to Zimbabwe said on Tuesday that Washington would only lift sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle if polls are held peacefully.

"There are disturbing signs of potential violence," Charles Ray said in a farewell address to journalists on completing his tour of duty in Harare.

"There have been disturbing reports recently that could be problematic in an election environment."

The ambassador's remarks came a day after the European Union agreed to lift most sanctions imposed on Mugabe's inner circle if the country holds a "credible" vote on a new constitution.

Ray said the United States would only lift its own sanctions on Mugabe and his close associates after Washington is satisfied with the electoral conditions in Zimbabwe.

"Sanctions were a response to a violent electoral process," he said. "A credible electoral process free of violence and intimidation would make our current policies irrelevant. The ball is entirely in this court.

"It's hard to say to my government they should do away with a policy that we put in place as a response to certain issues when those issues have not been adequately addressed."

Sporadic cases of violence have been reported across Zimbabwe in recent months including the murder of a district official from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party by Mugabe supporters.

Degree of professionalism

Mugabe and Tsvangirai were forced into a coalition government three years ago to avoid a tip into fully-fledged conflict following a bloody presidential run-off election.

A local daily last week reported an incident in which soldiers teamed up with youth from Mugabe's party to block a rally that was to be addressed by Finance Minister Tendai Biti, a Tsvangirai ally.

The ambassador, who is retiring after 50 years in the military and diplomatic service, also urged security chiefs to keep out of politics.

"The role of the military is to defend the nation," Ray said.

"In order to do that they must develop a degree of professionalism. It means that military people, in order to remain professional and of service to the country, must delink their personal political convictions from the carrying out of their professional duties."

Some security chiefs have been quoted in the media making partisan political statements including suggestions that they would only recognise a leader with credentials from the country's 1970s liberation war.

  • alfredtimire.vuranda - 2012-07-24 15:33

    Mutsvene you must stop smoking what you smoke everyday bro...Maybe you will stop writting nonsense.

  • Gavin - 2012-07-24 15:46

    if you think for one second that this will change anything - you are dumb as you look. mugarbage and his cronies will loosen their grip around Zim's throat just along for her to draw a breath/get funds in, then tighten it again as they live large and the poor suffer. f_ck you bob.

  • glenview.rungano - 2012-07-24 16:03

    this nigger making useless noise Who cares anywhere!!!!

  • marumobongani - 2012-07-24 17:52

    sounds fruitful if things go ok we might have a reduced number of zimbabwean pest in our work places since they're more than loyal servents of their masters but more like dogs who just eat anything comes near their mouths they enjoy being exploited I would'nt call them cheap labour but a bunch of fools who think they educated

  • rob.tubbs.39 - 2012-07-24 18:09

    Close the borders (like they did after UDI), cut off the power from Kariba, close the air port(s).. Cut off monetary funding, cut off emergency aid (sad for the general population) - shut Zimbabwe down. Maybe then the 'generally spineless' general population will have cause for a 'uprising'.. Many will die (so whats changed) but the people will be 'free'....

  • lucas.chingonzo - 2012-07-25 05:00

    Who cares,we don't need EU 2 tel as wat 2 do,idoits

      teboh.rapheal - 2012-08-10 16:42

      WE africans must read history in oder to understand the blood drinking anglo american impire is in its last days.the fall of dollar as a global curreny will sanction and end to thier hagemony.we do not need the aryan world equally as they say they do not need us.while doing everything to put thier creation stvangiria in power as usual.we now know it is a classic technic of dominating people.taking one of thiers and using aginst we must be ready to creat chaos in the lifes of poperts who allow inslavers responsible for eracing people world wide to use will be more beneficial for africa to intensify inter african trade redusing trade with the aryan world.which is a trape put in place to control us through banking systems etc.if you dont agree with them.they creat motives like human rights blabla to distroy if the same aryans know human rights before massacring people worldwide indiscriminately for land goal etc?

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