LATEST: UN closely following developments in Zimbabwe’s elections


THE United Nations and the United States Department of State have added their voices to the growing chorus by international and regional blocs expressing concern over the disputed August 23 and 24 polls.

In a statement, UN secretary-general António Guterres highlighted issues such as the arrest of observers, voter intimidation and threats of violence, harassment and coercion.

Florencia Soto Niño-Martínez, Guterres’s spokesperson, said the UN chief was closely following developments in the country.

“The secretary-general is closely following developments in Zimbabwe’s elections. He is concerned about the arrest of observers, reports of voter intimidation, and threats of violence, harassment and coercion.

“The secretary-general calls on political leaders and their supporters to reject any and all forms of violence, threats of violence, or incitement to violence, and to ensure that human rights and the rule of law are fully respected,” Niño-Martínez said.

Guterres called on Zimbabwe’s political actors to peacefully settle any disputes through established legal and institutional channels.

He urged 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.

Guterres’ message comes as several organisations have condemned the elections following severe criticism from observer missions.

Government stands accused of arresting 41 election observers, using a shadowy group Forever Associates Zimbabwe to intimidate voters and abusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to remain in power.

— NewsDay

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