The British government says Zimbabwe’s just-ended general elections were not free and fair.
In a statement the Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, said, “We share the view of the Election Observation Missions’ preliminary statements that the pre-election environment and election day fell short of regional and international standards.”
Mitchel said some of the problems included limited transparency from the electoral commission, the lack of level playing field, the passing of repressive legislation, long delays in the opening of some polling stations, and reports of intimidation of voters.
Mitchel noted that “the UK takes note of the announcement by the Chair of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of results on 26 August. However, we are concerned by a lack of transparency in the tallying of results, as well as the arrests of domestic observers. We urge all parties and citizens to continue to follow constitutional processes in the coming weeks, allow space for inclusive dialogue, and act with restraint.”
Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, and information secretary Nick Mangwana were unavailable for comment as they were not responding to calls on their mobile phones.
The African Union, Southern African Development Community, European Union and other organizations too a swipe at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, noting that the elections fell short of normal poll standards.
The Zimbabwean government has reacted angrily to the observer missions’ sharp rebuke of the electoral body, claiming that the elections were free and fair.
ZEC has already passed into the law the election of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has started executing state duties.