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By-elections: US govt warms regime in Zimbabwe against violence

The United States government has warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime in Zimbabwe against failing to ensure that there will be no violence in the upcoming by-elections.

Zimbabwe is set to hold by-elections on the 26th of March to fill the vacant seats in the National Assembly and local government.

This follows the mass recall of MDC Alliance MPs and councillors by smaller opposition MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora accusing them of supporting the main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa. 

The US Embassy in Harare on Friday warned political parties against perpetrating violence in the upcoming plebiscite.

“Violence and intimidation create an environment of fear and division in the run-up to by-elections and 2023 harmonized elections. Zimbabwean voters have the right to participate in political processes and public assembly free from intimidation & violence. #VotesWithoutViolence,” the Embassy said in a statement on Twitter.

“We are concerned by reports of violence as Zimbabwean political candidates meet with their supporters. #ZimElectoralReform means political candidates have the right to campaign and hold public assemblies free from intimidation and violence. #VotesWithoutViolence

“ZimElectoralReform means the Government of Zimbabwe sets the stage for legitimate, credible, and peaceful elections. We call on all parties to refrain from intimidation, repression, and violence of political opponents, media, and civil society. #VotesWithoutViolence

“We share @MISA’s concern for journalists in Zim’s highly-polarized climate. Government, parties, and citizens alike must respect journalists, media freedom, and free speech in the lead up to 2022 by-elections and 2023 harmonized elections. #VotesWithoutViolence.”

Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, saw post-election violence on August, 1, 2018.

At least six civilians were shot dead by the military during a post election demonstration. Thousands were injured and the perpetrators have not been punished. Nehanda Radio

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