China, one of Zimbabwe’s strongest allies, has urged the international community to work with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to safeguard the country’s “peace, stability and development”.
“As a friendly country to Zimbabwe, we call on the relevant sides to keep in mind the relevant country and people’s interest and respect the choice made by the Zimbabwean people,” Geng Shuang, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said in Beijing.
A Chinese election observer mission that was in Zimbabwe has endorsed the elections.
The leader of the observer mission Liu Guijin told the Herald: “I came here for six days leading a small Chinese delegation of observers. I had the opportunity to observe the preparatory work in Bindura, Norton and some other places also including Harare and also had the opportunity to visit some polling stations.
“My impression is that this election, the preparation and ballot process is peaceful, orderly and the outcome naturally will be credible.
“For Zimbabwe this is an important moment. I hope that this election will be a new start, a new start for peace development and prosperity. . . If the opposition has different opinions or disputes they should resort to peaceful means, to constitutional means to resolve the problem and refrain from going onto the street and to destroy people’s properties.”
China has invested heavily in Zimbabwe and is looking at more opportunities now that Mnangagwa, who trained as a guerilla in China in the 1960s, has been given a five-year mandate.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance has rejected the results but it is not clear what action it will take.