Hunting Facts, Telling Truth

Zimbabwe presidential election results met with international concern

Staff Writer

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced Saturday that incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa won the presidential election, maintaining power. However, international election watchdogs and the international community have raised doubts about the legitimacy of Mnangagwa’s election, along with Mnangagwa’s main opponent, Nelson Chamisa of the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change Party (CCC).

After the release of the election results, Mnangagwa celebrated, stating, “Grateful for the trust you’ve placed in me through the election. As we move forward, let us remember the strength of our nation lies in unity and stability.” Chamisa rejected the results, stating, “They stole your voice and vote but never your hope. It’s a blatant and gigantic fraud. Our God is faithful. There shall be freedom and justice in Zimbabwe!”

The Southern African Development Community’s Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM), an independent election watchdog in the region, released its preliminary findings on the overall fairness of the election Friday. SEOM raised concerns over early closing and late openings at multiple polling places, observed election intimidation and excessive delays in ability to vote. However, the report also concluded that the voting was overall peaceful with 97 percent of polling places having no observed voting irregularities. The preliminary report concluded by recommending that the ZEC ensure voter roll access, revise nomination fees for candidates, state media cover elections more impartially, voting materials be more transparent and better protections be put in place to allow more women to participate.

The US Department of State released a statement Monday, calling for further investigations into the overall fairness of the election, with Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller stating:

Although the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) has announced results of the country’s recent presidential election, multiple observation missions have expressed deep concerns and stated that the country’s electoral process did not meet regional and international standards for credibility…The United States is engaging regional leaders to share our concerns, including what this means for the international community’s nascent efforts to reengage the Zimbabwean government.

Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Florencia Soto Niño-Martínez called for a peaceful resolution to any disputes arising from the contested election:

The Secretary-General is closely following developments in Zimbabwe’s elections. He is concerned about the arrest of observers, reports of voter intimidation, threats of violence, harassment and coercion…The Secretary-General calls on political actors to peacefully settle any disputes through established legal and institutional channels, and urges the competent authorities to resolve any disputes in a fair, expeditious, and transparent manner to ensure that the results are a true reflection of the will of the people.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) raised concerns about the legitimacy of the presidential election prior to polls opening last week, citing crackdowns against opposition party meetings, police and military preventing rallies and detention of opposition party leaders. The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe disqualified a prominent opposition party leader Savior Kasukuwere less than a month before the election. Throughout the voting process and the counting process, the CCC has alleged voting irregularities, culminating in allegations that ballot boxes were re-opened, with authorities summoning polling officers to fill out new verification forms, with those refusing to do so being intimidated by authorities. The ZEC has denied these allegations. The CCC has also reported hours-long lines to vote in rural polling places, the absence of the signature of Chamisa’s chief election agent on electoral result forms and interruptions of CCC press conferences.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy