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Risch Statement on Elections in Zimbabwe

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on this week’s elections in Zimbabwe:

“The 2023 elections in Zimbabwe were a sham. The government weaponized the judiciary, silenced the opposition, manipulated the accreditation of observers, and created an unfair pre-election environment. On August 23 and 24, it further sabotaged the electoral process by delaying polling station openings, intimidating voters, and unlawfully detaining accredited observers. What occurred was not an exercise in democracy.

“The people of Zimbabwe should continue to advocate for their constitutional right to choose their leaders freely without fear and use peaceful means to voice their discontent with the electoral process. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should complete the vote count transparently and honestly. Zimbabwean authorities must also immediately release all election observers and other stakeholders detained for legally carrying out their duties to support the electoral process.

“The U.S. government and the international community must remain alert, continue to shine a light on the severe violations of Zimbabwe's electoral law, and act to prevent further state violence against Zimbabweans. Finally, we must reevaluate all facets of our relationship with a Zimbabwean government that ignores its people's will and flouts its laws through acts of violence, looting, and impunity.”