UK minister speaks doubt over Zimbabwean polls

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By Staff Reporter

THE United Kingdom says Zimbabwe still has to do more to inspire confidence in its often controversial electoral processes.

This was said by UK Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin in the wake of Zimbabwe’s July 30 national elections whose outcome is being disputed by the MDC Alliance.

“While polling day passed off peacefully, a number of concerns have been raised by observer missions, particularly about the pre-election environment, the role of state media, and the use of state resources.

“There is much to be done to build confidence in Zimbabwe’s electoral process,” Baldwin said in a statement Saturday.

Apart from official figures being questioned by the opposition, the build up to the country’s 2018 election was also marred by continued grumbling by the MDC Alliance which felt Zanu PF was unfairly being allowed access to public media and some vital electoral information by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

After seeing through a peaceful campaign period, Zimbabwe plunged into fresh controversy when six civilians were gunned down by soldiers who had been deployed into the city centre Wednesday to quell poll related protests that where becoming violent.

London said it was still concerned with the credibility of the Zimbabwean polls.

“The UK remains deeply concerned by the violence following the elections and the disproportionate response from the security forces.

“We have urged all parties to work together to ensure calm.

“It is vital that any appeals against the results or the process are handled swiftly and impartially.

“All candidates have a responsibility to ensure their supporters act with restraint and avoid violence, while any challenges to the results are resolved,” Baldwin said.

“We will continue to work with the Government and the Zimbabwean people to support democracy and good governance, help with the country’s development, and promote regional security and prosperity.

“The UK remains a close partner of the Zimbabwean people in their quest for a better future.”

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