There is no room for political violence in a democracy: US Embassy

US Embassy in Zimbabwe Charge D’Affaires Elaine French says there is no room for political violence in a democratic Zimbabwe, with the country set to hold general elections next year.

She made the remarks during a tour of the Center for Innovation and Technology (CITE) on Tuesday to familiarize herself with the work the organization does.

French is in Bulawayo to engage various stakeholders and will also tour some of the projects in various sectors that are funded by the US government.

US Embassy in Zimbabwe Charge D’Affaires Elaine French

“I think really what the US government is looking for, what I’m looking for is pretty simple and it is often what I have heard from the Zimbabweans I have met thus far. What I hear is that Zimbabweans want a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe that provides for its people and contributes to regional stability and that is what we want too,” she said.

“Sometimes we may differ on the best means to get to that goal but we always seek to engage in a peaceful, respectful dialogue that uploads universal values and rights in Zimbabwe especially given Zimbabwe’s history”

French said US partnerships and assistance are aimed at ensuring that Zimbabweans enjoy a democratic and peaceful society.

“As President Biden himself has said there is no room for political violence in democracy. The public, media and civil society organisations should be allowed to their partnering and electioneering free from intimidation, repression and violence,” she emphasized.  

“We want Zimbabweans to succeed, and for Zimbabwe to be a peaceful, democratic, prosperous nation. What is good for Zimbabwe is also good for the region and good for us as well.”

French said as a diplomat one of her priorities is to engage and to engage the government, opposition parties, civil society, and all parts of Zimbabwean society.

“At the US Embassy we are really kind of trying to bring Americans and Zimbabweans together through partnerships and trade, through people-to-people linkages, scholarships and our long-term investment is health,” she said.

Zimbabweans are set to go to polls between July and August next year to elect a president, senators, members of the National Assembly, and councillors.

There have been cases of political violence during the recent by-elections with analysts warning that the 2023 elections might be bloody.

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