UN Officials Says Zimbabwe Can’t Continue Holding Disputed Elections
The United Nations Human Rights Office, OHCHR, has expressed concern over the recurrence of disputed elections in Zimbabwe increasing the probability that the southern African country’s 2023 elections will be supervised by the international body.
This comes amid increasing reports of voter intimidation and coercion linked to the ruling ZANU PF party.
Ahead of the 30 July poll, OHCHR spokesperson Liz Throssell said the UN staff could not verify the reports.
Major contenders in the 2023 presidential race are President Emmerson Mnangagwa from the ruling ZANU PF party and his opponent, Nelson Chamisa, who leads the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
Meanwhile, the ruling ZANU PF party has said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will run the 2023 elections. Said the party on Twitter:
ZEC will organise and run our elections in 2023 with United Nations supervision.
Chamisa has since 2018 maintained that he was robbed of victory in that year’s presidential election. He claims that ZEC, in connivance with ZANU PF, manipulated election results in favour of President Mnangagwa.
He failed to prove the allegations in the Constitutional Court and Mnangagwa was eventually declared the winner. In March this year, Nelson Chamisa insisted that his party would not contest the 2023 general elections if the government does not allow the United Nations to observe the crunch vote. He told supporters in Mutare ahead of the 26 March by-elections. He said:
We have learnt from the past experiences, hence I wrote to SADC officials and some leaders from other countries including the United Nations.
The opposition has since the turn of the millennium accused the ruling party of vote-buying, intimidating voters, and rigging elections to retain power.