The House and Senate passed, on July 25, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, and Chris Coons, D-Delaware, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to update the framework for U.S. relations with the government of Zimbabwe.

Flake and Coons led a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, in April.

The bill revises the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 and sets forth the steps Zimbabwe needs to take to have sanctions on its country lifted, including ensuring the country’s upcoming elections July 30 are free, fair and credible.

“This measure outlines steps that will go a long way to demonstrate that Zimbabwe's government is earnest in its desire to bring about long-overdue change for the people of Zimbabwe, who suffered under authoritarian rule for far too long,” said Flake. “I look forward to returning to Zimbabwe ahead of what I hope to be a free and fair election, and I urge the Zimbabwean government to foster peaceful, democratic reform.”

“I’m thrilled that Congress passed this important piece of legislation, which reflects our sincere hope that Zimbabwe makes a transition to a peaceful, democratic, just and prosperous nation,” said Coons. “A free, fair and credible election is a necessary, but insufficient step to increased cooperation with the U.S. Zimbabwe's leaders must also commit to a peaceful and constitutional transfer of power to reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people. We look forward to the fulfillment of the commitments President Mnangagwa has made to the people of Zimbabwe to pursue broader political and economic reform and to deepen the partnership between the U.S. and Zimbabwe as sufficient progress is made on these necessary reforms.”

A PDF of the bill is available at bit.ly/2JW5FSR.