Skip to main content

Petitions

Volume 571: debated on Friday 29 November 2013

Petition

Friday 29 November 2013

Observations

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Elections in Zimbabwe

The Petition of the supporters of Zimbabweans who love peace, resident in the UK,

Declares that the Petitioners believe that elections held in Zimbabwe this summer were not free, peaceful and fair; further that the Mugabe regime has a long history of manipulating the entire process including pre-election, during voting and post-election and in 2008 Mugabe refused to accept the results in which his party was heavily defeated, he intimidated people, battered and killed MDC supporters before claiming victory; further that the 2013 elections have again been marked with massive irregularities and incomplete participation and there are serious questions about the credibility of the elections due to the number of irregularities both in the run-up to the ballot and on polling day.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons makes the world aware that the 2013 Zimbabwean election results are not credible and are not an expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people; and further requests that the House do all in its power to prevent the country plunging into another era of poverty and human suffering as it did in 2008, we ask for help to see human rights restored and support in the fight for a new Zimbabwe.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Fiona Mactaggart, Official Report, 15 October 2013; Vol. 568, c. 702.]

[P001223]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs:

I commend the people of Zimbabwe on the holding of peaceful elections on 31 July. However, the British Government continue to have serious concerns about the conduct of the elections, particularly the evidence that large numbers of voters were unable to register or were turned away from polling stations. In addition, a number of important reforms necessary for peaceful, credible, free and fair elections, contained in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and endorsed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) were not completed ahead of the poll.

On 17-18 August, the SADC Summit in Lilongwe endorsed the election results. Despite having expressed concerns in the initial report itself, the summary of the SADC Election Observation Mission described Zimbabwe’s elections as “generally credible”. However, I remain concerned about the numerous irregularities in the conduct of the elections, including those noted in the findings of the final Africa Union Election Observer Mission report. We maintain that an independent investigation of any allegations of election irregularities would be required for the election result to be deemed credible.

The British Government remain committed to supporting the aspirations of the Zimbabwean people for a more democratic, stable and prosperous Zimbabwe. We have engaged, both at Ministerial and official level, with counterparts in Zimbabwe and the region, and to raise our concerns over the conduct of the elections. We will continue to talk to, and work with, partners in the region to promote democracy and good governance in Zimbabwe. We expect the new Government to restore internationally accepted human rights standards and to honour their obligations, and ensure the protection and promotion of fundamental freedoms for all Zimbabweans.