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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Report of African Union Election Observation Mission to the 31 July 2013 Harmonised Election in the Republic of Zimbabwe
    African Union Election Observation Mission
    November 01
    , 2013

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    1. In response to the invitation by the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), deployed an African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) to Zimbabwe to observe the Harmonized Elections held on 31July 2013. The AUEOM took place from 21 July to 6 August 2013 and was preceded by African Union (AU) Long Term Observers (LTOs) who arrived in Zimbabwe on 15 June and remained in the country until 14 August 2013.

    2. The AUEOM was led by H.E, Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Head of Mission and H.E. Dr Aisha Abdullahi, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, as Deputy Head of Mission. The AUEOM comprised 69 observers (long term and short term) drawn from members of the Pan-African Parliament, members of the Permanent Representative Committee (PRC) of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Election Management Bodies (EMBs) and African Civil Society Organisations from the following countries: Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Algeria, Saharawi Republic, Zambia, Namibia. Lesotho, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Gambia, South Sudan, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Botswana.

    3. The AUEOM was supported by a team of experts from the AUC, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).

    4. H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AUC paid a working visit to the Republic of Zimbabwe from 24 to 26 July 2013.


    6. The AUEOM to Zimbabwe adopted a long-term observation methodology, which covered the pre-election, election and post-election phases. The first component of the AUEOM involved the deployment of nine (9) LTOs on 15 June to 14 August 2013. The second component was the deployment of 60 Short Term Observers (STOs) who joined the LTOs beginning from 21 July to 6 August 2013.

    7. To enable it achieve its objectives in accordance with the above-mentioned AU instruments, the AUEOM undertook the following activities:

    • During the 6 weeks of pre-election phase, the LTOs were deployed in 4 teams that visited a total of 52 of 62 districts in the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe.
    • The LTOs observed several components of the pre-election phase including: voter registration, candidate nomination, campaigning, voter education, training of election officials and special voting by security forces and staff of the ZEC. LTOs also consulted with a wide range of stakeholders at national and provincial levels as part of the primary process of purposefully gathering information that would inform the work of the AUEOM. The stakeholders consulted by the LTOs included: the President of the Senate; the Prime Minister; the Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs; senior officials of the foreign ministry; the diplomatic Corp; the UN Resident Representative; the ZEC; the Human Rights Commission, senior officials of the Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC. Others include the media, human rights groups, women’s coalitions, the disabled association, domestic observer groups and civil society umbrella organisations.
    • Based on the observations by the LTOs of the political environment, party primaries, election preparations, registration, nomination and special voting processes and informed by consultations with key interlocutors prior to the elections, the AUEOM presented a Pre-Election Statement at a press conference held on 26 July 2013.
    • The LTOs were joined by the STOs from 23 July 2013 and went through a two-day orientation. Before deployment, the STOs were also briefed by representatives of ZEC, Zimbabwe Republican Police (ZRP), Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN), Zimbabwe Women’s Coalition, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), and the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) on preparation towards the elections.
    • As part of the commitment of the leadership of the AU to democratic elections on the African continent, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AUC paid a working visit to the Republic of Zimbabwe from 24 to 26 July 2013. During her visit, Dr. Dlamini-Zuma consulted with the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Ministers, presidential candidates the Diplomatic Corps, Civil Society Organisation, and interacted with the Media. Dr. Dlamini-Zuma concluded her visit with a tour of the offices of ZEC.
    • The AUEOM leadership, headed by H.E. Obasanjo, also consulted with the relevant authorities and various electoral stakeholders as part of the AUEOM’s continuous assessment of the country’s electoral preparedness and to seek clarifications on issues of concern raised by stakeholders. Stakeholders consulted by the AUEOM leadership included: the ZEC, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Minister of Justice, Minister of Finance, presidential candidates, political party leaders and presidential candidates, the Registrar General of Voters (RGV), the Diplomatic Corps and civil society organisations.
    • The AUEOM also took the lead in coordinating the activities of international observer groups that were present in Zimbabwe to ensure a cross pollination of ideas, information and preliminary assessments. In this regard, the AUEOM convened pre and post-election joint meetings of heads of other international election observation missions. These meetings were attended by the following observer missions: SADC, SADC Council of NGOs, SADC Election Commission Forum, SADC Parliamentary Forum, SADC Electoral Support Network and COMESA.
    • During the election period, the AUEOM deployed 26 teams of observers to all 10 provinces, covering 52 of 62 districts. AUEOM observers witnessed the final stages of the campaigns, pre-polling activities and the polling and counting processes. On Election Day, AU observers visited a total of 350 of the 9700 voting stations.

    8. Based on its observations and consultations during the election phase, the AUEOM to the 31 July 2013 Harmonised Elections in Zimbabwe presents this report covering pre-election, Election Day and post- Election Day period.

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