UK-Based Zimbabweans Urge PM Rishi Sunak: Sponsor Fair Elections in Zimbabwe

by Oluwatosin Alabi

Category: Politica

In a notable move, various UK-based civic society organizations and political parties have petitioned the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, urging him to back a new, transparent, and impartial election in Zimbabwe. This appeal arises amid allegations of electoral tampering in Zimbabwe’s recent August 23 and 24 elections. Multiple election observer missions have flagged the polls as not meeting the benchmark for democratic elections, both locally and internationally.

The mounting concerns originate from various organizations, including MyRight2Vote, Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation, Restoration of Human Rights to Zimbabwe, and the UK chapters of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and ZAPU. They have voiced apprehensions of evident nepotism within President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration, referring to the nomination of close family members to ministerial positions as proof of a dubious regime.

The petition highlights multiple issues:

– A controversial and biased election process marked by registration inconsistencies and post-election violence against CCC members.

– Quick acknowledgment of Mnangagwa as the president by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, indicating hasty decisions under Mnangagwa’s influence.

– The military’s questionable loyalty towards the President instead of the Constitution, signaling corruption in the administration.

Furthermore, the petitioners have blamed the ruling party, ZANU PF, for disturbing the peace within the SADC region through misuse of funds, widespread corruption, and violence. These allegations extend to ZANU PF’s supposed participation in a coup plot in Zambia, a claim which ZANU PF has strongly denied.

In addition to these concerns, the petitioners cite the arbitrary arrest of CCC members, voter manipulation, and the exclusion of votes from the diaspora as reasons questioning the election’s fairness and credibility.

Supporting their claims, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) recorded a spike in human rights violations, with July 2023 witnessing 301 incidents as opposed to 206 in the preceding month of June. The ZPP also recorded intimidation and attacks on CCC activists and candidates in the lead-up to the elections.

Closing their plea, the petitioners have called for an extraordinary summit focusing on Zimbabwe. They emphasize the nation’s collective demand for a new, impartial, and credible election, underlining their commitment to democratic principles and the rule of law.

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