America To Deny Visas To Zimbabweans Involved In Corruption, Undermining Democracy

Source: America To Deny Visas To Zimbabweans Involved In Corruption, Undermining Democracy

The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has introduced new regulations aimed at individuals who undermine democracy in Zimbabwe. These regulations specifically target those involved in election rigging, human rights violations, and abuse of the judicial system during electoral processes.

Additionally, the policy also focuses on individuals who impede the operations of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) due to the implementation of the Private Voluntary Organizations (PVO) Bill, NewZimbabwe reported citing Blinken. Blinken said:

Under this policy, the United States will pursue visa restrictions, pursuant to Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, for individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Zimbabwe.

Such acts may include manipulating or rigging the electoral process; disenfranchising voters or preventing individuals from exercising their right to vote; excluding members of the political opposition from electoral processes; restricting the ability of civil society organizations (CSOs) to operate and engage in democratic, governance, or human rights related activities; or intimidation of voters, election observers, or CSOs through threats or acts of physical violence.

They may also include engaging in corrupt acts, including bribery, that undermine the electoral process; interfering with the independent operation of the judiciary during its adjudication of electoral cases; or abusing or violating human rights in Zimbabwe.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s attempts to re-establish a relationship with the United States have faced obstacles since he assumed power in 2017. Many high-ranking officials in the ruling Zanu PF party, as well as some government officials, are already subject to U.S. sanctions, preventing them from travelling to the United States for personal reasons.

The strained relationship between the two countries has been exacerbated by Zimbabwe’s deteriorating human rights record and the disputed August elections, which did not meet international standards. These ongoing issues have contributed to the persistence of tensions between Zimbabwe and the United States.