The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed deep concern about human rights violations reported during the recent elections in Zimbabwe.
In a statement sent to SABC News, Spokesperson Seif Magango pointed specifically to the arbitrary arrests of election observers, attacks on voters and the harassment and intimidation of journalists, echoing similar sentiments expressed by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres this week.
The United States, for its part, has raised issue with what it termed “systemic bias against the political opposition during the pre-election period” and reports that Zimbabwe Electoral Commission officials pressured election observers to sign altered polling station result forms.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk has called for prompt, thorough and impartial investigations into what it called deplorable acts of human rights violations during the elections and for those responsible to be held account.
UN Secretary-General’s Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric says Guterres is concerned about the arrest of observers, reports of voter intimidation, threats of violence, harassment and coercion.
Dujarric says he called on political leaders and their supporters to reject any and all forms of violence, threats of violence, or incitement to violence, and to ensure that human rights and the rule of law are fully respected.
He says the Secretary-General also called on political actors to peacefully settle any disputes through established legal and institutional channels and to urge the competent authorities to resolve any disputes in a fair, expeditious, and transparent manner to enable that the results are a true reflection of the will of the people.
Earlier, the US State Dept strongly condemned the intimidation and disruption of lawful election observers throughout the electoral period while pointing to concerns expressed by multiple observer missions, including from SADC, questioning the transparency, independence, fairness and credibility of all stages of the electoral process.
The South African Presidency on Tuesday congratulated Zimbabwe on the elections, with Pretoria indicating it was conscious that the poll took place under a difficult economic environment due to burgeoning sanctions which the people of Zimbabwe continued to unjustly endure.
However, US President Joe Biden in March this year informed Congress that the Zimbabwean Government including President Emmerson Mnangagwa had not made the necessary political and economic reforms that would warrant terminating the existing targeted sanctions that have been in place since 2003.
VIDEO: Professor David Moore gives analyses on Zimbabwe’s elections: