Text: H.R.5971 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/29/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 5971

To facilitate lasting peace, rule of law, democracy, and economic recovery in Zimbabwe.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 29, 2010

Mr. Payne (for himself, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Rush, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Meeks of New York, Mr. Rangel, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mrs. Christensen, Ms. Waters, Mr. Towns, Mr. Watt, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas, Mr. Cummings, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Mr. Clay, Ms. Clarke, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Mr. Ellison, Mr. Scott of Georgia, Ms. Edwards of Maryland, Mr. Al Green of Texas, Mr. Butterfield, Ms. Moore of Wisconsin, Mr. Cleaver, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Mr. Faleomavaega, Ms. Woolsey, and Ms. Watson) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Financial Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To facilitate lasting peace, rule of law, democracy, and economic recovery in Zimbabwe.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title and table of contents.

(a) Short title.—This Act may be cited as the “Zimbabwe Renewal Act of 2010”.

(b) Table of contents.—The table of contents of this Act is as follows:


Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings and sense of Congress.

Sec. 3. Statement of policy.

Sec. 4. Assistance to strengthen the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe.

Sec. 5. Assistance for sustainable development, health care, education, agriculture, clean water, and emergency vocational work program for youth in Zimbabwe.

Sec. 6. Assistance to promote reconciliation efforts in Zimbabwe and support full implementation of the Global Political Agreement.

Sec. 7. Technical assistance for Zimbabwe.

Sec. 8. Debt relief for Zimbabwe.

Sec. 9. Review of targeted sanctions in support of peace and democracy in Zimbabwe.

Sec. 10. Report.

Sec. 11. Other provisions of law superseded.

Sec. 12. Authorization of appropriations.

SEC. 2. Findings and sense of Congress.

(a) Findings.—Congress finds the following:

(1) In September 2008, the Zimbabwean African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), led by President Robert Mugabe, the Movement for the Democratic Change (MDC), and the Movement for Democratic Change-Mutambara, reached an accord, the Global Political Agreement (GPA), after months of negotiations.

(2) In February 2009, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as the prime minister of the Transitional Inclusive Government, while President Robert Mugabe kept his position as agreed to by the three parties.

(3) Since the formation of the coalition government important progress has been made, although serious challenges remain. Moreover, some members of ZANU–PF continue to undermine and obstruct the peace agreement and the coalition government.

(4) Despite the GPA, civil society, labor unions, human rights advocates, journalists, and opposition members continue to face harassment and intimidation by security forces, which are still under the control of the ruling ZANU–PF.

(5) While, due to difficult economic and security conditions, an estimated 3,000,000 Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa and other neighboring countries.

(6) While recent measures taken by the coalition government have improved economic conditions, significantly reducing the inflation rates, millions of Zimbabweans continue to face serious difficulties.

(7) On May 10, 2010, the Zimbabwe High Court acquitted MDC–T Treasurer, Roy Bennett. The Zimbabwe Attorney General announced two days later that he would appeal the ruling.

(8) In May 2010, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met with senior Administration officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and was recognized with the Democracy Award by the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

(9) Formal unemployment rates in Zimbabwe have increased to more than 90 percent and youth make up more than two-thirds of the unemployed.

(10) Many poor Zimbabwe youth drop out of school without the education and training necessary for employment and become vulnerable to criminal activity, poor health, and disease.

(11) It is estimated that as many as 29,000 youth are currently members of youth militias known to intimidate persons and groups for political purposes in exchange for cash, food, clothes, and shelter.

(b) Sense of Congress.—It is the sense of Congress that providing job opportunities of practical national value for youth in Zimbabwe designed to divert young people away from idleness and undesirable activity also would help alleviate poverty, restore the economy, contribute to the reconstruction of Zimbabwe, and give such youth income and a sense of achievement and self-worth in an otherwise hopeless environment.

SEC. 3. Statement of policy.

It shall be the policy of the United States Government to—

(1) support a transition to democratic and economic recovery in Zimbabwe that reflects the new political conditions and opportunities created by the Global Political Agreement (GPA);

(2) support the advancement of human rights, labor rights, democracy, rule of law, independence of the judiciary, freedom of the press, and economic development in Zimbabwe;

(3) support full implementation of the GPA and seek the unconditional release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience;

(4) foster stability, democracy, and economic development in the region;

(5) help end poverty and support economic recovery by expanding United States assistance programs in Zimbabwe;

(6) promote a sustained relationship with Zimbabwe in order to strengthen democracy, human rights, security, economic growth, and the alleviation of poverty;

(7) help end human rights abuses and violence against civilians by the security forces of Zimbabwe and hold those engaged in these abuses accountable;

(8) maintain targeted sanctions against individuals who continue to undermine the democratic processes and review and update existing sanctions to reflect changing conditions on the ground;

(9) create programs designed to provide job opportunities of practical national value for youth in Zimbabwe to help alleviate poverty, restore the economy, contribute to the reconstruction of Zimbabwe, and give such youth income and a sense of achievement and self-worth in an otherwise hopeless environment;

(10) contribute to the African Development Bank-administered Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund;

(11) press for full compliance with the Kimberley Process diamond certification scheme;

(12) support credible efforts to conduct a comprehensive, transparent, and nonpartisan land audit as a critical step toward establishing accountability and security of tenure;

(13) engage international partners and regional governments to develop a coordinated strategy to prepare for future elections in Zimbabwe, particularly to help reduce the risk of violence and other election-related abuses; and

(14) strengthen the relationship with Zimbabwe based on the policy objectives specified in paragraphs (1) through (11) and to engage the talents and skills of the Zimbabwean Diaspora towards that end.

SEC. 4. Assistance to strengthen the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe.

(a) Authorization of assistance.—The Secretary of State is authorized to provide assistance to strengthen the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe.

(b) Activities supported.—Activities that may be supported by assistance under subsection (a) include—

(1) providing assistance to strengthen local government, councils, parliament, and the judiciary in Zimbabwe;

(2) providing assistance for urban, peri-urban, and rural programs focused on reconciliation efforts in order to address past abuses and pave the way for peaceful political participation;

(3) providing training and funding for civil society and human rights groups in election monitoring, human rights related activities, and democratic institution building;

(4) providing support for training, monitoring, and evaluation of the security sector that is consistent with the Southern Africa Development Community Protocol on Politics, Defense, and Security Co-operation, which requires that security forces “shall at all times promote the peaceful settlement of disputes by negotiation, conciliation, mediation, or arbitration”;

(5) helping strengthen the independent press;

(6) supporting local and national human rights groups and other relevant civil society organizations to help strengthen human rights monitoring and regular reporting on human rights conditions in Zimbabwe;

(7) supporting victims of political violence, with priority to victims of sexual violence, trade unionists, survivors of the Gukurahundi Campaign, and the victims of the 2005 Operation Murambatsvina, particularly micro-entrepreneurs and informal sector traders, and such assistance shall be implemented by a new Zimbabwe Human Rights Trust Fund or through a locally administered and implemented rural human rights program similar to the Zimbabwe Alliance;

(8) strengthening the independence of the judiciary through—

(A) providing training and material support to court personnel and civil society groups; and

(B) instituting and expanding exchange programs between United States and Zimbabwean jurists, law schools, and other groups in the legal sector;

(9) establishing a program in consultation with Zimbabwean civil society, human rights groups, and other relevant groups for a judicial monitoring process by local, national, and international groups, to monitor judicial proceedings throughout Zimbabwe focused on politically motivated government intervention on judicial matters; and

(10) supporting anti-corruption programs, including reporting on national incomes and the development of a national transparency framework.

SEC. 5. Assistance for sustainable development, health care, education, agriculture, clean water, and emergency vocational work program for youth in Zimbabwe.

(a) Sustainable Development.—The President, in consultation with other donors, is authorized to provide assistance, as needed, for sustainable development in Zimbabwe.

(b) Health care assistance.—The President is authorized to provide assistance for the health care sector in Zimbabwe and provide material support to hospitals, clinics, and health care centers in Zimbabwe.

(c) Education Assistance.—The President is authorized to provide assistance to strengthen the education sector in Zimbabwe, including by providing teacher training, refurbishment of education facilities, and material support.

(d) Agriculture Assistance.—

(1) AUTHORIZATION OF ASSISTANCE.—The President is authorized to provide expanded assistance for the agriculture sector in Zimbabwe to enable self-sufficiency, support for irrigation and water harvesting systems, and provide funding for necessary agricultural supplies.

(2) ACTIVITIES SUPPORTED.—Activities that may be supported by assistance under paragraph (1) include—

(A) supporting market-based mechanisms for the provision of credit and access to the inputs necessary for agricultural production and for the handling, marketing, storage, and processing of agricultural commodities;

(B) encouraging policies that provide incentives for agricultural production; and

(C) supporting institutions that provide technical assistance and financial support to the agriculture sector.

(e) Clean Water.—The President is authorized to provide assistance for the rehabilitation of the water treatment facilities and sewer systems in Zimbabwe.

(f) Emergency vocational work program for youth.—The President shall develop an emergency vocational work program for youth in Zimbabwe with cash payments for the construction and repair of public works of benefit to the entire population of Zimbabwe.

(g) Delegation of functions to USAID.—The functions of the President under this section shall be carried out by the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.

SEC. 6. Assistance to promote reconciliation efforts in Zimbabwe and support full implementation of the Global Political Agreement.

(a) Authorization of assistance.—The President is authorized to provide economic assistance for Zimbabwe in an effort to support democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, economic self-sufficiency, build civil authority, provide support in education and health care, enhance judicial and legal frameworks to promote reconciliation efforts in Zimbabwe and support full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

(b) Congressional notification.—Assistance may not be provided under subsection (a) until 15 days after the date on which the President notifies and certifies to Congress that progress is being made in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement.

(c) Support for land reform and agricultural development.—

(1) FINDINGS.—Congress finds that—

(A) sanctions on financial institutions that provide lines of credit and other financial services to vast numbers of communal farmers in Zimbabwe have severely harmed the ability of such farmers and small businesses to sustain their livelihoods;

(B) sanctions on financial institutions that provide branch networks in Zimbabwe and other financial services to civil servants, pensioners, and the people of Zimbabwe have severely harmed such civil servants, pensioners, and the people of Zimbabwe; and

(C) sanctions described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) have resulted in suppressed earnings for the National Social Security Authority, the entity established by the Government of Zimbabwe to administer social security schemes in Zimbabwe, and consequently the Authority has not been able to competitively remunerate its pensioners.

(2) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—If the requirements described in paragraph (3) are met, it is the sense of Congress that—

(A) sanctions described in paragraph (1) (A) and (B) should be lifted in order to allow financial institutions described in such paragraph to assist communal farmers, civil servants, pensioners, and the people of Zimbabwe; and

(B) technical assistance should be provided to such financial institutions to rebuild their capacity to gain access to international capital.

(3) REQUIREMENTS.—The requirements referred to in paragraph (2) are the following:

(A) The Finance Ministry of Zimbabwe does not politicize lending or extending credit.

(B) No individual who is subject to United States or European Union sanctions serves as a board member, advisor, or employee of any financial institution in Zimbabwe.

(C) No funds provided to Zimbabwe are made available to Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank.

SEC. 7. Technical assistance for Zimbabwe.

The Secretary of the Treasury, acting through the Office of Technical Assistance, is authorized to provide technical assistance to the Zimbabwean Ministry of Finance and line ministries, as appropriate, relating to activities to improve the Ministry Finance’s ability to capture, manage, and expend resources transparently to address public and private sector needs in Zimbabwe.

SEC. 8. Debt relief for Zimbabwe.

(a) Debt relief.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall—

(1) forgive the debt of Zimbabwe held by any agency of the United States Government; and

(2) in consultation with the Secretary of State, gather information on—

(A) the debt of Zimbabwe held by international financial institutions and private financial institutions; and

(B) the feasibility and advisability of restructuring, rescheduling, or eliminating such debt in the future.

(b) International financial institutions.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall direct the United States Executive Director at each international financial institution of which the United States is a member to vote in favor of programs proposed or being considered by the institution for Zimbabwe.

(c) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTION.—The term “international financial institution” means each multilateral development bank and the International Monetary Fund.

(2) MULTILATERAL DEVELOPMENT BANK.—The term “multilateral development bank” means—

(A) the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development;

(B) the International Development Association;

(C) the International Finance Corporation;

(D) the Inter-American Development Bank;

(E) the Asian Development Bank;

(F) the Inter-American Investment Corporation;

(G) the African Development Bank;

(H) the African Development Fund;

(I) the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and

(J) the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

SEC. 9. Review of targeted sanctions in support of peace and democracy in Zimbabwe.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, restrictions against any person that are imposed pursuant to Executive Order 13288 (68 Fed. Reg. 11457–11461; relating to blocking property of persons undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe) shall be removed when the President certifies to Congress that such person—

(1) has taken significant steps to help strengthen democracy, respect human rights, and the rule of law in Zimbabwe; and

(2) has played a constructive role in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement.

SEC. 10. Report.

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit to Congress a report on the implementation of this Act, including a description of a comprehensive plan to address issues of human rights, democratization, and economic conditions in Zimbabwe.

SEC. 11. Other provisions of law superseded.

Each of the authorities contained in sections 3 through 8 of this Act may be carried out notwithstanding any other provision of law.

SEC. 12. Authorization of appropriations.

(a) In general.—There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.

(b) Availability.—Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations under subsection (a) are authorized to remain available until expended.