During an Independence Day speech in Mount Darwin, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa promised that the upcoming general elections, expected to take place in August, would be free and fair.

However, he also cautioned against “rogue” civil society organizations, warning of the potential for such groups to create division and disharmony.

Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to reject violence before, during, and after the vote, and stated that his government had taken steps to ensure the integrity of the election.

The president’s ZANU-PF party has been accused in the past of using violence and intimidation to suppress opposition.

The government recently passed a bill that prohibits civil society groups from participating in politics and allows for state intervention in their operations, drawing criticism from human rights organizations and the international community.

Mnangagwa, who is seeking re-election and will face his main rival Nelson Chamisa in the polls, has faced accusations of cracking down on political opponents and struggling to address poverty, unemployment, and power shortages.