from MTHULISI SIBANDA in Johannesburg, South Africa
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE United Kingdom (UK) has appealed for calm following a conflict-ridden outcome of general elections in Zimbabwe.
Harriett Baldwin, the UK Minister of State for Africa, said while the
country was encouraged that Zimbabweans turned out in record numbers to vote last Monday, it was concerned by the violence following the elections and the disproportionate response from security forces.
At least six people were killed in the protests in the capital Harare
following the announcement of the parliamentary election results.
“We have urged all parties to work together to ensure calm,” Baldwin said
Her sentiments came a day after the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance rejected the outcome that favoured the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and incumbent, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The opposition claims its candidate, Nelson Chamisa won but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) rigged the poll. ZANU-PF won 145 seats to MDC Alliance’s 63 in the 210-member House of Assembly. The National Patriotic Front and independent candidate, Themba Mliswa, won a seat each.
Mnangagwa polled 2 460 463 votes to Chamisa’s 2 147 436. Baldwin said it was vital that any appeals against the results or the process were 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,” she said.
Baldwin assured the former colonial master would continue to work with
Zimbabwe 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.”
Relations between Zimbabwe and UK had been strained following human rights violations and electoral fraud by the administration of then-president, Robert Mugabe.
He was ousted in a military coup last November after over 37 years in
– CAJ News