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U.S. Official Says Washington Is Watching Zimbabwe Elections Closely

Zimbabwe's national elections are coming up fast amid numerous complaints from the opposition about government interference and alleged preparations for rigging, but a senior official of the U.S. Department of State said this week that Washington will wait for the election outcome to make any policy changes if such are warranted.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Carol Thompson of the bureau of African affairs was addressing a conference at the conservative CATO Institute in Washington. The gathering was discussing a paper by opposition official David Coltart, legal secretary of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Arthur Mutambara.

Entitled "A Decade of Suffering," Coltart's paper charged that President Robert Mugabe and his associates in the ZANU-PF ruling party "are chiefly responsible for an economic meltdown that has turned one of Africa's most prosperous countries into a country with one of the lowest life expectancies in the world."

Thompson told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the U.S. government will be watching closely to see how the elections unfold.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...