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UK-based Zimbabweans Have Petitioned PM Rishi Sunak To Sponsor Fresh Elections In Zimbabwe

6 days ago
Mon, 18 Sep 2023 07:33:31 GMT
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UK-based Zimbabweans Have Petitioned PM Rishi Sunak To Sponsor Fresh Elections In Zimbabwe

Several civic society organizations and representatives of political parties in the United Kingdom (UK) have petitioned Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, to sponsor a new, free and fair election in Zimbabwe. They are alleging electoral manipulation during Zimbabwe’s August 23 and 24 elections. They based their petition on reports from multiple election observer missions that deemed the polls as falling short of local and international standards for democratic elections. The petition adds to the mounting pressure on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, with the main opposition party Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) calling for fresh elections.

The organizations that signed the petition include MyRight2Vote, Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation, Restoration of Human Rights to Zimbabwe, CCC’s UK chapter, and ZAPU UK chapter. They expressed concerns about what they perceive as nepotism in Mnangagwa’s government, citing the appointment of close relatives as Cabinet ministers as evidence of an illegitimate regime. Read the petition:

The shambolic, corrupt and heavily biased election ‘process’ from delimitation/registration manipulations, the disorganised 23-24th August election, the alteration of V11s and the post-election violence against CCC members meant that  Zimbabwe had no credible election.

The rushed announcement by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to proclaim Mnangagwa as the presidential reeks of ill-advised panic by Mnangagwa. The ambivalence of the military and their declarations [of allegiance] to the President as opposed to the Constitution all smack of corruption at the faux ‘inauguration’.

The petitioners accused the ruling party ZANU PF of destabilizing the SADC region with looted funds, corruption, and violence. They also alleged ZANU PF’s involvement in a coup attempt in Zambia. ZANU PF denied the claims. The petitioners highlighted arbitrary arrests of CCC members, voter manipulation, and denial of the diaspora vote as further evidence that the elections lacked fairness, credibility, and freedom. Read the petition:

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We, therefore, plead with the UK/FCDO to join Sadc/AU/US/EU/Commonwealth, Carter Center and others, to sponsor a new, independently administered free and fair election in Zimbabwe to accurately reflect the will of the voting electorate.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) reported a significant rise in human rights violations, with 301 recorded in July 2023 compared to 206 in June 2023. The ZPP also documented attacks and intimidation targeting CCC activists and aspiring candidates during the pre-electoral period. The petition called for an extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe and emphasised the people’s unified demand for a fresh, free, fair, and credible election, highlighting their commitment to democracy, constitutionality, and constitutionalism.

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