The UN has urged Zimbabwe’s leaders to reject any form of violence after reported attacks on demonstrators protesting election results in the country.
The election violence has already left about three people dead in Harare, after troops were deployed to quell presidential election protests.
“We are concerned about reports that there have been incidents of violence in some parts of Zimbabwe,” UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq, said in New York.
The violence erupted days after Zimbabwe’s first general elections since former President Robert Mugabe was pressured to step down after more than three decades in office, in 2017.
The frontrunners in the election were President Emmerson Mnangagwa from the ruling ZANU-PF party and his opponent, Nelson Chamisa, head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Haq reminded current officeholders and political parties of the commitments they made through the peace pledge, signed on June 26 and the agreed Code of Conduct for a peaceful electoral process.
“We call on the political leaders and the population as a whole to exercise restraint and reject any form of violence while awaiting resolution of the disputes and announcement of the election results,’’ he said.
Back in June, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, condemned an explosion that took place at an election rally in Zimbabwe, shortly after sitting President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was running again for a full term, left the stage.
In July, amid increasing reports of voter intimidation and coercion, linked to the ruling ZANU-PF party, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, underscored the need for a peaceful and credible election.
According to reports, official results so far, show that while ZANU-PF has won the most seats in the parliamentary ballot, the opposition MDC is alleging ballot-rigging and impatience has been growing at the delayed release of full results.
Haq said that the UN was monitoring the situation and again called on all the people of Zimbabwe to respect the electoral law, the peace pledge and code of conduct and to “desist from any inflammatory statements and refrain from violence.’’