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Several Nations, EU Condemn Violence, Human Rights Violations in Zimbabwe

FILE: Opposition Movement for Democratic Change supporters hold spent rounds and show injuries after soldiers opened fire outside the party's headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe, Aug. 1, 2018.

The Heads of Mission of the EU, Canada, Switzerland and the United States of America have expressed grave concern over the eruption of violence and serious human rights violations in Zimbabwe following “the peaceful election on 30 July 2018”.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the European Union Delegation, the Heads of Mission of EU Member States present in Harare and the Heads of Mission of Canada, Switzerland and the United States of America, said these tragic events stand in sharp contrast to the high hopes and expectations for a peaceful, inclusive, transparent and credible election in Zimbabwe.

“The Heads of Mission condemn the violence, attacks, and acts of intimidation targeted at opposition leaders and supporters. These human rights violations have no place in a democratic society and contravene the fundamental tenets of international human rights standards.

“The Heads of Mission urge the government to respect the rights of the Zimbabwean people as enshrined in the Constitution. All allegations of incitement to violence or violent acts, as well as vandalism and destruction of property, should be investigated in accordance with the rule of law, and perpetrators held legally responsible.”

The Heads of Mission welcomed President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa’s commitment to establish an independent commission to investigate the violence against civilians and “look forward to the commission starting its work as soon as possible and reporting its findings in a transparent manner.

“The Heads of Mission call on the Government to ensure that the Zimbabwean Defence Forces act with restraint, in full respect of international human rights norms and their constitutional role. The Heads of Mission call on all stakeholders to act responsibly, to adhere to the principles of the Peace Pledge, to pursue peaceful and legal resolution of their grievances and to uphold the integrity of the political and electoral process.”

Several political parties entered a peace agreement before the polls conducted last Monday and won by Mnangagwa and his ruling Zanu PF party.

The Movement for Democratic Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa has rejected the election results saying they are fraudulent.

In the presidential election Mnangagwa won 50.8% of the votes cast compared to Chamisa’s 44.3%.

Mnangagwa insists that the elections were free, fair, credible and transparent.

EU Member States present in Harare include France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

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