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HARARE-- The African Union has called on Zimbabwe's political leaders to rise above their differences and work together to ensureg lasting peace in the country in the aftermath of last week's post-election violence which resulted in the death of six people.

Zimbabwe held its general election on July 30 which the ruling Zanu PF party won comprehensively in voting for the presidency, Parliament and local government.

However, violence reared its ugly head in the aftermath of the polls with the opposition alleging vote theft, resulting in its supporters clashing with police and the military. The opposition has signalled its intention to challenge the results in court.

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has congratulated the country on the largely peaceful elections but bemoaned the loss of lives and violence.

The Chairperson calls on all stakeholders to continue to maintain the peaceful environment that has prevailed before and during the elections, according to an AU statement received here Monday.

"He also appeals to the political actors to rise above their differences and work together to ensure peace, stability and development in their country. He urges any aggrieved party to use the appropriate legal means and/or other disputes resolution mechanisms to address its concerns.

Mahamat said the continental body would remain supportive of Zimbabwe's attempts to deepen its democracy in line with the AU Charter. The AU seconded both short term and long term observers to the general election, with the teams having since endorsed the polls but are still to issue their final report.

The Africa Union will continue to closely follow the electoral process through its Long Term Observers who will remain in the country until the conclusion of the process, the AU said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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