Ahead of Zimbabwe’s elections on 30 July concerns have been raised at the increasing number of reports of voter intimidation.
According to the UN Human Rights office there have been threats of violence and harassment in the country.
The elections, the first held in decades without long time ruler Robert Mugabe on the ballot, are being closely watched by the international community.
We call on the authorities – and political parties and their supporters – to ensure that the elections are not marred
“We remain concerned however at the increasing number of reports, particularly in some rural areas, of voter intimidation, threats of violence, harassment and coercion, including people being forced to attend political rallies. There has also been the worrying use of disparaging language against female political candidates,” noted Elizabeth Throssell the spokeperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
The upcoming elections will have the the highest number of presidential contestants in a national election. 23 candidates are vying for the Presidency.
However, the main presidential contenders are Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zanu-PF and Nelson Chamisa of the opposition MDC Alliance.
“We call on the authorities – and political parties and their supporters – to ensure that the elections are not marred by such acts so that all Zimbabweans can participate free from fear in a credible election process,” Throssell added.