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UN chief frowns at arrest of observers in Zimbabwe’s election

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern about the arrest of observers, reports of voter intimidation, threats of violence, harassment and coercion in the Zimbabwe’s elections.

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said at a news conference on Monday at UN headquarters in New York, that UN chief was closely following developments in the country’s elections.

Citizens went to the polls on Wednesday but voting had to be extended into Thursday in some areas, including the capital, Harare, due to a lack of ballot papers.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa secured a second five-year term in results announced late on Saturday.

His party, ZANU-PF, has been in power since 1980, following the end of white minority rule in the southern African country, formerly known as Rhodesia.

Mnangagwa, 80, received more than 52 per cent of the vote, according to media reports.

Opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa, 45, received 44 per cent. His party, Citizens Coalition for Change, rejected the results.

“The secretary-general calls 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.

“The secretary-general calls on political actors to peacefully settle any disputes through established legal and institutional channels.

“He urges the competent authorities to resolve any disputes in a fair, expeditious, and transparent manner to ensure that the results are a true reflection of the will of the people,” Dujarric said. (NAN)

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Written by Tom Chiahemen

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