Zimbabwe waits on election results amid observer concerns, opposition shutdown

By Laureen Fagan - 26 August 2023 at 5:14 pm
Zimbabwe waits on election results amid observer concerns, opposition shutdown

As yet there are no official results from this week’s presidential election in Zimbabwe, which again put President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zanu PF party in a race against Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC).

The CCC says it thinks it’s running ahead in the results, but on Saturday complained of intimidation against its polling agents and saw a press conference disrupted by Zanu PF members, according to CCC spokeswoman Gladys Hlatshwayo. The CCC had hoped to speak on the reports from international observer missions that raise questions about the election process.

Observers have consistently expressed concern that Zimbabwe did not hold free and fair elections, with Zanu PF manipulating the process and government repression directed at the opposition.

“We share the deep concerns raised by regional and international observation missions,” said the United States Bureau of African Affairs on Saturday. The U.S. said that, as noted by the Southern African Development Community, “aspects of Zimbabwe elections so far are falling short in critically important ways.”

The U.S. Embassy in Harare cited problems with transparency, credibility, restrictions on constitutional rights and reports of voter intimidation, among other concerns. They join the SADC, the African Union, the European Union and organizations like the Carter Center in expressing concern over the voting.

On Saturday, the SADC issued a new statement condemning personal attacks criticizing Dr. Nevers Mumba, above, the head of the SADC electoral observer mission in Zimbabwe, after the mission raised concerns about the election.

“Some of these statements and attacks which have been aired on television, social media and newspapers are crude, scurrilous and misleading,” the SADC said.

Image: SADC/Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

Laureen Fagan

Laureen Fagan

Laureen is the editor of Africa Times

Laureen is a freelance journalist creating high-quality, informed content on international affairs, politics and technology. She has worked both in and out of newsrooms since 2000. She is a former paramedic with significant experience in community resilience and nonprofit community development initiatives, and maintains "a passion for action" on sustainability and climate change. She also is trained in conflict resolution and diversity, and has special interests in science and medical reporting, and culture and religion issues. Laureen received her MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the United States, and completed additional graduate study in theology at University of Notre Dame. Follow Laureen on Mastodon at @laureen@m.ai6yr.org

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