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UK commends Zimbabwe for peaceful elections but says process lacked transparency

By Staff Reporter

THE United Kingdom has said the just concluded Zimbabwe general elections which saw Zanu PF’s leader Emmerson Mnangagwa reclaiming presidency lacked transparency and were not free and fair.

Mnangagwa was re-elected into office, after securing 52, 6 % of the vote while Nelson Chamisa of the main opposition, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) got 44%  a figure he contends is false.

Chamisa has since demanded a fresh election, condemning the electoral process and calling for the disbanding of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

In a statement, UK Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell urged parties to use constitutional means to settle existing differences.

“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,” he said.

UK Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell

Added Mitchel: “The United Kingdom commends the people of Zimbabwe for demonstrating patience and resilience in exercising their democratic rights, and especially for maintaining a peaceful atmosphere on election day and beyond.”

He also concurred with various observer missions which concluded the Zimbabwe election was flawed.

“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.

“Issues 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.”

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