The United States is committed to the people of Zimbabwe and their right to choose their leaders in free and fair elections conducted in a transparent manner. We commend those who sought to exercise their right to vote peacefully.
Although the Zimbabwe Election Commission announced the results of the country’s recent presidential election, many observation missions have expressed deep concern and stated that the country’s electoral process did not meet regional and international standards of credibility. For example, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and other international election observation missions have cited problems with transparency, independence, fairness, and credibility throughout the electoral process. In particular, the United States notes systemic bias against political opposition during the pre-election period and reports from respected civil society groups that IEC officials pressured election observers to sign revised polling station results forms. We call on the local electoral commission to make the results of disaggregated polling stations available to the public to increase confidence in the results tabulation process.
We also strongly condemn the intimidation and obstruction of legitimate election observers throughout the electoral period. On August 23, the government arrested employees of respected civil society organizations that were involved in lawful election monitoring in accordance with the election law. These arrests have prevented efforts to independently verify the results announced by the ZEC Elections Commission, a key component of democratic processes in the region and around the world. Furthermore, the threats against members of the SADC Election Observation Mission are serious, and we call on the Government of Zimbabwe to stop these inflammatory and unacceptable attacks.
These actions contradict President Mnangagwa’s repeated pledges to respect the rule of law, transparency and accountability. And the United States is engaging regional leaders to share our concerns, including what this means for the international community’s emerging efforts to re-engage with the Zimbabwean government. There is much at stake for the people of Zimbabwe and the region. We urge all Zimbabweans to be pacifist and to pursue grievances through existing legal channels.
“Beer buff. Devoted pop culture scholar. Coffee ninja. Evil zombie fan. Organizer.”