US to follow March 26 by-elections preparations, campaigns

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BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
UNITED States chargé d’affaires Thomas Hastings yesterday said his country would keenly follow Zimbabwe’s March 26 by-elections including the preparations and campaigns.

Hastings yesterday paid a courtesy call to the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda where he told journalists after a closed door meeting at UNITED States that the by-elections were pivotal for the promotion of democracy.

“My government is pleased that the by-elections are now going to take place. They were delayed for quite some time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are pleased to see that they are taking place. Democratic conditions of free and fair elections are a key priority for governments all over the world,” Hastings said.

“We are watching very closely how these elections will be conducted — not just on election day, but the preparations, issues of a level playing-field and everything about the democratic situation leading to an election is a priority to us,” he said.

Recently, the US embassy said it would start listing a number of requirements that benchmark the holding of free and fair elections to strengthen the integrity of Zimbabwe’s polls.

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