Harare (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe’s elections are open to scrutiny by any accredited foreign observer groups or individuals, but the Southern African country will not tolerate attempts by hostile elements to sway electoral outcomes, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Friday.
The ruling Zanu PF party has been a target of several illegal regime change plots by Western countries ever since it spearheaded the historic land reform programme at the turn of the millenium.
Under the programme, thousands of landless black families were resettled on prime agricultural land that was in the hands of a few white farmers.
The highly successful programme has proved an unforgivable “sin” in the eyes of Western countries which slapped retributive sanctions on Zimbabwe.
In a virtual address to diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa said some forces were already seeking to influence the national discourse and destabilise the prevailing peace and stability ahead of this month’s by-elections, and next year’s general elections.
“As an administration, we are unequivocal in our calls for peaceful and non-violent campaigns and elections. In line with our laws and best practices on the conduct of elections, all accredited diplomats and other observers are free to observe our elections,” he said.
“It is most unfortunate, however, that as Zimbabwe prepares for the 2023 Harmonised General Elections, some forces are already seeking to influence the national discourse and destabilise the peace and stability we are enjoying as a country.
“Sadly, this is not new to us and is part of the decades old regime change agenda. Those of you who may be inclined to perpetuating this blatant interference in the internal affairs of our country are urged to introspect and stop this unbecoming practice. Let the people of Zimbabwe enjoy their unfettered right to choose their leadership. It is our democratic right, a right which we fought for, and a right which we will protect, respect and uphold to the letter.”
President Mnangagwa said the upcoming by-elections, and 2023 general elections were a marker of government’s commitment to foster democracy, constitutionalism, good governance and the rule of law.
He also reiterated Zimbabwe’s call for the unconditional removal of the illegal and unilateral sanctions.
“It is my Government’s expectation that the independent, evidence-based Report being compiled for submission to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2022 by the Special Rapporteur on the Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on the Enjoyment of human rights, will trigger a rethink amongst those that are maintaining these punitive illegal sanctions against us,” he said.
“These illegal sanctions continue to be a stumbling block to the sustainable development of our country and cause undue suffering to the ordinary people.”
President Mnangagwa said the Second Republic’s engagement and re-engagement remained his administration’s overarching thrust.
On its part, he said, Zimbabwe, was committed to be a friend to all and an enemy to none.
“Our arms remain outstretched to embrace all those countries who are ready to work with us, albeit guided by mutual respect of our independence, sovereignty and unique national realities,” he said. “As we begin yet another year in our relations, I challenge you, the diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe, to look through the lenses of possibilities and focus on those matters which unite us, as opposed to our areas of differences.
“My country has much more to offer towards building a more peaceful and prosperous world for all. The opportunities are immense across the whole socio-economic spectrum. Tap into these, by projecting the correct picture to your capitals, and encouraging your private sectors to invest in Zimbabwe.”