Zimbabwe’s foreign ministry on Tuesday summoned the United States’ diplomat in Harare over a Twitter post in which the embassy encouraged Zimbabweans to register to vote in the country’s upcoming elections.
The post, which was shared by the US embassy in Harare, urged Zimbabweans to “make sure your voice is heard” and to “vote peacefully.”
The post was met with anger from Zimbabwean officials, who accused the US of meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
“Today, the Zimbabwe government will summon the US Chargé D’affaires for his mission’s act of diplomatic indiscretion over its advertisement which meddles in Zimbabwe’s electoral politics, contrary to the Vienna Convention,” President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba tweeted.
“Matters could come to a head, including disallowing American observer teams.”
The US embassy has not yet commented on the summons.
The move by the Zimbabwe government comes amid growing tensions between the two countries.
The United States has been critical of the Zimbabwean government’s human rights record and its handling of the economy.
In recent months, the United States has imposed sanctions on several Zimbabwean officials, including Mnangagwa.
The upcoming elections are seen as a test of Mnangagwa’s legitimacy. He came to power in 2017 after the military ousted long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa has promised to hold free and fair elections, but critics say he is trying to silence his opponents.