Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been chided by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Matthew Harrington against the use of Military elements to harass, intimidate and kill civilians.

Speaking at Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, Harrington said, the Zimbabwean government must reform for sanctions to be lifted. Harrington said:

Any goodwill from the international community that might have been generated by an improved election process dissipated as a result of several problematic developments.

In addition, in January and February (2019) the army launched a sustained crackdown on citizens in response to their protests over fuel price increases. We welcome a better relationship with Zimbabwe, but the ball is very much in the Zimbabwean government’s court. If there’s real, concrete progress in the areas laid out in the ZIDERA legislation Zimbabwe will find a committed partner in the United States.

Mnangagwa’s economic adviser Ashok Chakravarti, who spoke after Harrington at the CSIS event to discuss “Zimbabwe’s burgeoning food crisis” on May 1, said the US sanctions had created a perception problem for Zimbabwe.