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Press statement on Zimbabwe elections

Published 7 August 2018

Lilongwe, Friday, 3rd August, 2018: IM Swedish Development Partner applauds Zimbabweans for exercising their constitutional voting right in the Harmonized Elections of 30 July, 2018. The elections represented a political milestone in the history of Zimbabwe following the stepping down from power of the former President Robert Mugabe after 37 years in office. The elections demonstrated a remarkable improvement in the exercise and protection of civil and political rights compared to previous Presidential elections.

IM Swedish Development Partner notes that the pre-election phase and the voting proceeded in a peaceful and orderly manner but a level playing field was not achieved as cases of misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behavior by traditional leaders and obvious bias in state media in favour of the ruling party ZANU PF were evident.

IM Swedish Development Partner is deeply saddened with the post-election violence and the heavy handedness of the police and the military fueled by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s lapses and delays in some results management and dissemination processes.  It is unfortunate that eight lives were needlessly lost, scores of civilians were brutalized and property destroyed following the state’s misuse of power. This gross violation of human rights by the state machinery cannot be condoned.

IM Swedish Development Partner is confident that all the aggrieved parties in this election, including the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance, will seek the due processes of the law for the redress of their well-founded concerns.

IM Swedish Development Partner congratulates the President Elect Emmerson Mnangagwa and implores that justice will take its cause on the agents of the state that took the law in their own hands and caused needless death of the eight civilians and humiliation to scores.

IM Swedish Development Partner anticipates that the President Elect will honour his pledge to make the outcome of the election a new beginning for a better Zimbabwe and take decisive measures that will allow all Zimbabweans to join hands, in peace, unity, and love towards building a new Zimbabwe for all.

IM Swedish Development Partner implores civil society organizations to think carefully about how they will proceed after the elections with the pursuit of different rights agendas Zimbabwe needs going forward.

Signed: MARIA KEMPE
REGIONAL DIRECTOR, SOUTHERN AFRICA