News / Africa

Outgoing US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Fears Violent Elections

US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, talks with journalists in Harare, July 24, 2012. US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, talks with journalists in Harare, July 24, 2012.
x
US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, talks with journalists in Harare, July 24, 2012.
US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, talks with journalists in Harare, July 24, 2012.
HARARE — The outgoing U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, says he fears the African nation's next elections could be violent, judging by recent trends. 

Speaking at his last media briefing in Harare, retiring U.S. Ambassador Charles Ray said elections in Zimbabwe might turn violent, “There are disturbing signs of potential of violence," he stated. "That could be problematic in an election environment.”

Since 2000, when President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party felt the challenge of a strong opposition, Zimbabwean elections have been violent.  That resulted in the United States, Britain and other Western countries imposing sanctions on Mugabe and his party leadership, beginning in 2002.

The army, which has openly said it supports ZANU-PF, has been accused of fanning violence.

“I spent 20 years of life as a professional soldier," said Ray.  "The role of the army is to defend the nation.  In order to do that you need to develop a degree of professionalism.  While it does not mean that military people are not entitled to have political views, it means that military people, in order to remain professional and in service to the country, they must delink their personal political convictions from their current professional duties.”

The ambassador said Washington would lift sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his allies if it saw human rights being honored, and an election reflecting Zimbabwean wishes had been held.  

The European Union made a similar statement Monday, saying it will remove targeted sanctions after Zimbabwe holds "peaceful and credible" elections.

Zimbabwe is set to hold elections by June 2013 to end the power-sharing government of Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.  The two formed a coalition in 2009, after regional leaders nullified a violent election in which Mugabe claimed victory over Tsvangirai.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Smokey
July 24, 2012 12:14 PM
US Ambassador Charles Ray is to be commended for his steadfastness and honesty throughout his tour of duty in Zimbabwe. However the "delinking" aspect is not going to happen given the past , which he must clearly understand. Herein lies the real problem, which is not going to resolve itself.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid