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U.S. Urges Zimbabwe to Stop Partisan Food Distribution Ahead of 2023 General Elections

Zimbabwe held council and parliamentary elections on March 26 this year.
Zimbabwe held council and parliamentary elections on March 26 this year.

The United States says Zimbabwe is expected to level the electoral field ahead of the 2023 general elections.

In a tweet, the U.S. Embassy Harare, said, “As Zimbabwe moves toward 2023 general elections, we urge the government to integrate lessons learned from civil society to set the stage for peaceful and credible national elections that are fully consistent with international standards.

“To achieve this… Partisan distribution of humanitarian assistance, food, agricultural inputs, and other public services in exchange for votes must end. We commend all the volunteers, observers, party agents, polling agents, police officers, and voters who made March 26 by-elections happen and took their time to invest in Zimbabwe’s democracy.”

The opposition Citizens Coalition for Change led by Nelson Chamisa won 19 of the 28 contested parliamentary seats in the by-elections. CCC expressed concern over alleged electoral fraud in some constituencies, noting that some traditional leaders distributed food handouts mostly to Zanu PF activists in what was seen as vote buying.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of State says America stands with all Zimbabweans who desire a more just, equitable, prosperous, and healthy future.

In a statement on Zimbabwe’s 42nd independence anniversary, the U.S. reaffirmed its commitment to support Zimbabweans’ efforts to achieve a more democratic society and build an enduring respect for human rights.

“We are proud to provide assistance to help Zimbabweans live longer and healthier lives, including in the long-standing struggle to combat HIV/AIDS and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As you pause to celebrate your independence, please know that our friendship with the Zimbabwean people endures. We are confident that the fruits of democracy and economic opportunity are possible, and we will continue to support those aims.”

The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee also commended Zimbabweans who are fighting for their rights in an effort to create a democratic society.

“… The U.S. is proud to stand with Zimbabweans who work towards a more prosperous & peaceful democracy. We continue to support their efforts to stamp out corruption, instill accountability, & support #humanrights.”