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August 25, 2023

U.S. Embassy Statement on Elections

The U.S. Embassy commends the Zimbabwean people, some of whom faced significant obstacles and delays, who exercised their right to vote on August 23 and 24. While the election days were predominantly peaceful, the electoral process thus far did not meet many regional and international standards.

We share the deep concerns expressed by SADC and other international electoral observation missions. SADC’s August 25 preliminary statement noted the elections “fell short of the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Electoral Act, and the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021).” These missions cited problems with the transparency, independence, fairness, and credibility of electoral processes; undue restrictions on the rights to freedom of assembly and association, and freedom of expression that are guaranteed by Zimbabwe’s Constitution and reflected in regional guidelines; reports of voter intimidation; and the disenfranchisement of candidates, particularly women. We are also gravely concerned by the arrest of civil society members that we believe were conducting lawful, non-partisan election observation work.

The Zimbabwean people demonstrated patience, calm, and resilience while exercising their civic right to vote. We call on the ZEC to tabulate and announce results in a timely and transparent manner. We encourage all stakeholders to exercise similar patience and uphold a peaceful environment as we await ZEC’s announcement of official results, and to pursue any grievances through established legal channels.