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Minister of Africa speaks on Zimbabwe elections

PICTURED: Harriett Baldwin

FOLLOWING THE recent elections in Zimbabwe, the Minister of State for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, spoke on the verdict and her concerns for the violence following the elections.

"The UK was encouraged that Zimbabweans turned out in record numbers to vote in the elections on 30 July, and particularly the increase in first-time voters, including many young, urban Zimbabweans, who found themselves excluded from previous electoral rolls," Baldwin said.

"While polling day passed off peacefully, a number of concerns have been raised by observer missions, particularly about the pre-election environment, the role of state media, and the use of state resources. There is much to be done to build confidence in Zimbabwe’s electoral process.

"The UK remains deeply concerned by the violence following the elections and the disproportionate response from the security forces. We have urged all parties to work together to ensure calm. It is vital that any appeals against the results or the process are handled swiftly and impartially.

"All candidates have a responsibility to ensure their supporters act with restraint and avoid violence, while any challenges to the results are resolved."

Baldwin added that the UK "will continue to work with the Government and the Zimbabwean people to support democracy and good governance, help with the country’s development, and promote regional security and prosperity. The UK remains a close partner of the Zimbabwean people in their quest for a better future."

In the first Zimbabwe election since former President Robert Mugabe's rule came to an end, Emmerson Mnangagwa proved victorious and won Zimbabwe's presidential election,

With all 10 provinces declared, Mr Mnangagwa won 50.8% of votes, compared to 44.3% for opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

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