European Union and the United States have expressed concern over the post-election violence that rocked Harare last week saying it works against the high hopes and expectations for a peaceful election.
In a joint statement released today, the Heads of Missions of EU, Canada, Switzerland and the United States of America condemned the arrests and acts of intimidation targeted at opposition party supporters and their leaders saying such actions have no place in a democratic society.
Said the Heads of Mission, “The Heads of Mission of the EU, Canada, Switzerland and the United States of America note with grave concern the eruption of violence and occurrences of serious human rights violations following the peaceful election on 30 July 2018.
“These tragic events stand in sharp contrast to the high hopes and expectations for a peaceful, inclusive, transparent and credible elections in Zimbabwe.”
The HOM further urged government to respect the rights of Zimbabweans 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,” reads the statement.
The Australian government has also added more pressure on the Mnangagwa led government by urging it to be more open and seek justice for the victims of the fateful Wednesday’s events.
“We note the increased openness of the 2018 elections. We urge that this be built on through increased transparency and accountability in the interests of achieving justice for victims, resolving disputes-peacefully and through legal channels and repairing trust,” reads part of the Australian Government’s statements.
The post-election skirmishes are likely to put a big dent on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-engagement efforts, especially with the EU and America whose conditions for cooperation was a credible election.
Since wrestling power from former President Robert Mugabe last November, Mnangagwa has been making frantic efforts to engage long-time foes and put Zimbabwe on the map.
However, this all hinged on last week’s election which seemed to have gone smoothly until the MDC Alliance, led by Nelson Chamisa, raised vote rigging alarms and took to the streets, a move which gave birth to the violence
Mnangagwa last week promised to set up an independent commission of inquiry to look into the violence which saw the army use live bullets on citizens.
Minister of Home Affairs was quick to push the blame on MDC Alliance supporters and distanced the police and the army from any wrong doing.
Since the election, however, there have been several reports of intimidation instigated and assault by the armed forces on defenseless citizens.
Residents in several high density suburbs are living in fear as they accuse the army of terrorizing them at night.
Meanwhile, 26 MDC Alliance supporters who were arrested following the violence which killed six people and left several nursing life threatening injuries have been released on $50 bail.