by Christopher Makaza
A good number of foreign and local observers have shown interest in observing Zimbabwe’s harmonised elections scheduled for next month.
According to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials, a total of seven foreign and seventy eight local observers have already been accredited with ZEC to monitor the July elections. Accredited foreign observers include those from the British, Spanish, Portuguese and German embassies as well as the European Union (EU).
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), Election Resource Centre, Zim Rights, Restore Environment Trust, Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN), Zimbabwe Public Workers Cooperative and NACAZ are among the local observers that have also accredited with ZEC.
Three foreign and fourteen local journalists were also recently accredited.
The EU will observe the Zimbabwean elections for the first time since 2002 after it had been banned by former president Robert Mugabe. EU was invited by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in March this year to observe this year`s plebiscite. The delegation will work across the country observing and also noting complaints that may be filed before, during and after election.
Holding of free and fair election has been high on President Mnangagwa`s agenda since he took over in November 2017. He has emphasised the need for undisputed elections, saying it was important for the country`s re-engagement with the international community.
ZEC has also since promised to deliver a free and credible election, highlighting that its systems are tamper proof and rigging will not be possible.