Europe urges Zim rule of law, end to opposition state repression

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By Idah Mhetu

EUROPEAN embassies in the country Friday urged Zimbabwean politicians to respect the rule of law in the wake of a Constitutional Court ruling which upheld President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s electoral victory July 30.

In a joint statement, the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe and ambassadors accredited to the country as well as Switzerland said it was “important that everyone respects the Zimbabwean constitution and the rule of law”.

“Acknowledging the verdict of Zimbabwe’s highest court, all stakeholders should call for calm and restraint in both victory and defeat,” said the western countries.

The call comes in the wake of MDC Alliance’s adamant rejection of the ConCourt’s dismissal of its leader Nelson Chamisa’s petition challenging Mnangagwa’s victory.

The opposition alleged massive poll fraud by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission working in cahoots with the incumbent.

However, the opposition says it would now explore political avenues after the failed court route.

The recent past has seen opposition supporters invade the streets in protest over alleged poll cheating with six people gunned down earlier this month by the army.

There are strong fears at home and outside the MDC’s insistence on being cheated both in elections and the courts could fuel further tensions within a restive population.

Said EU, “The recent increase in politically motivated human rights violations, including some acts of post electoral retribution, is unacceptable. All cases need to be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.

“The fundamental rights of all citizens need to respected and the physical integrity and safety of the victims and witnesses protected.”

The west said the country’s recent electoral process revealed improvements as well as challenges while further urging Zimbabwean authorities to implement poll reforms that have seen its elections being disputed by the opposition.

“It is important that the new government engages all stakeholders in substantive discussions on the necessary reforms, including on further electoral reforms.

“The Heads of Mission stand ready to continue to work with Zimbabwe to foster democracy to the benefit of all its citizens,” said the EU.