In a statement, on Monday, the US State Department referred to “inflammatory and unacceptable attacks” directed at election observers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“The United States is engaging regional leaders to share our concerns, including what this means for the international community’s nascent efforts to re-engage the Zimbabwean government,” it said.
“There is much at stake for the people of Zimbabwe and the region. We urge all Zimbabweans to remain peaceful and pursue grievances through established legal channels.”
In its response to the elections, China said it was ready to continue working with the government of Zimbabwe and offered congratulations to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
China added that while there were disputes over the results, “it is our hope that the parties in Zimbabwe will put people’s interests first and resolve differences properly through legal means”.
China reiterated that it adheres to “the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs”.
President Aleksandr Lukashenko of Belarus, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Mnangagwa also praised Mnangagwa for a job “well done”.
Regional former liberation movements offer their congratulations
Most of the remaining liberation movements in southern Africa have congratulated Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF for extending its stay in power since independence in 1980.
Tanzania, under President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), South Africa under the ANC, and the South West Africa People’s Organisation (Swapo) in Namibia under President Hage Geingob have all issued statements to that effect.
First was Geingob late on Sunday.
Like Mnangagwa, he’s in his second and last constitutional term. Elections are due in Namibia next year, and Swapo is set to have its first woman, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, seeking the top job.
Tanzania followed on Monday, with Hassan saying:
I am looking forward to continuing working together in fostering the historic, economic, and diplomatic relations between Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
President Cyril Ramaphosa issued a more detailed statement, noting that “these elections took place under a difficult economic environment due to the burdening sanctions which the people of Zimbabwe continue to unjustly endure”.
Ramaphosa noted in his statement the concerns raised in preliminary pronouncements by international observer missions such as the African Union (AU) and the South African Development Community Observer Mission (SEOM).
Mnangagwa won an election that SEOM and other regional and international observers said was flawed.
The SADC mission was led by former Zambian vice-president Nevers Mumba. Since the release of his election report, he has been the subject of scorn from some senior Zanu-PF members.
SEOM is headed by the chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, currently under Zambia’s president Hakainde Hichilema.
All matters pertaining to electoral processes and the enhancement of democracy and good governance in the SADC region fall under the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC), which reports to Hichilema.
According to Zanu-PF spokesperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa, Zambia is hostile towards Zanu-PF and wants to see a transition away from the former liberation party.