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As President Robert Mugabe is sworn in for his seventh term in office, Freedom House is dismayed by the statements and actions of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in the wake of Zimbabwe’s July 31st flawed elections. SADC’s assessment  that the elections were free and fair despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, its call to repeal sanctions against Zimbabwe in the face of continuing democratic erosion, and the stunning election of  Mugabe as the SADC’s  next chairperson all call into question the organization’s judgment and legitimacy.

Freedom House calls on the international community, particularly the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), to condemn as deeply flawed Zimbabwe’s July 31 elections. These elections were plagued with voter roll manipulation and widespread intimidation from the ruling ZANU-PF, and  were therefore neither free nor fair.

Freedom House condemns the serious flaws in Zimbabwe’s July 31 elections, notably the manipulation of voter rolls and widespread intimidation on the part of ZANU-PF, the party of longtime strongman Robert Mugabe. These elections can be considered neither free nor fair and the United States government, the Southern Africa Development Community, African Union, United Nations and democratic nations should denounce them as such.

Flaws in the process leading up to general elections in Zimbabwe call into question the elections’ credibility, according to Freedom House. Tomorrow, Zimbabwe will hold its first election since the violent 2008 elections that left more than 200 people dead and led to the signature of the Global Political Agreement, creating Zimbabwe’s power-sharing Government of National Unity.



Senior Director for Program Strategy, Development and Learning and Director for Central, East and West Africa Programs

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