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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
SADC observer mission says elections free and fair
Moyo, SW Radio Africa
August 01, 2013
View this article
on the SW Radio Africa website
A SADC observer
mission on Thursday declared Zimbabwe’s
elections “peaceful, credible and an efficient electoral
The Electoral Commissions
Forum of SADC (ECF-SADC), which describes itself as a peer mission,
and of which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is a member, delivered
its poll verdict at a press conference organised on its behalf by
The mission’s statement
was read out by Nothemba Tjipuejan, who also urged Zimbabweans to
accept the results as the elections were held in a peaceful and
She said: “With
regard to the electoral campaign the mission noted with great satisfaction
the general calm and peaceful atmosphere throughout the period it
She added that the environment
was conducive to free participation by Zimbabweans: “No incidents
of violence, harassment or intimidation were brought to the attention
of this mission.”
Tjipuejan further said
that her team was satisfied with the steps being taken by ZEC to,
among others, address media access by all political parties and
said they had received assurances that most of the concerns raised
by all stakeholders would be rectified.
ESF-SADC joins the Chinese
government and the SADC and AU observer teams which have already
said that they were happy with the overall electoral process.
election observer and Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Lin Lin, told
the state media that the polls were conducted in a peaceful and
Also on Wednesday the
AU observer mission head, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo,
also said that there was nothing so far to suggest that the elections
were neither credible nor free and fair.
The SADC observer team
has also said that its preliminary assessment pointed to a legitimate
poll, although they are yet to issue an official statement.
However, civic groups
from the region have condemned the pronouncements by both SADC and
the AU, which they say are premature.
In a statement
issued Thursday, The Regional Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum said
Obasanjo had declared Zimbabwe elections free and fair, totally
disregarding concerns about the electoral climate.
The body noted: “Concerns
raised by opposition parties, in particular those raised by MDC
T Secretary Tendai Biti, and the numerous concerns regarding the
electoral climate raised in statements issued by Zimbabwean civics
and regional solidarity movements, appear to have been completely
the diabolical manner in which the flawed voters roll has been dealt
with, and the varied forms of repression and intimidation that have
been well documented and clearly presented, cast the AU statement
that the election is free and fair in an extremely dubious light.”
The body said
the lack of meaningful reforms as outlined in the Global
Political Agreement meant that the electoral environment was
flawed, and not conducive to a legitimate process.
“We will need to
find forms of organisation that cannot be circumvented by the technically
flawed and deeply circumspect current systems of voting that cannot
any longer be argued to be legitimate representations of the will
of the people,” the civic groups said in a statement.
SW Radio Africa correspondent
Simon Muchemwa said both SADC and the AU were generally expected
to reiterate their earlier statements endorsing the poll.
“This appears to
be part of a bigger plan to endorse and legitimise the election
so that the international community can wash its hands of Zimbabwe.
“Remember the EU
has already said it will take SADC and the AU’s word for it,
and this is where it is leading to: an all-round endorsement of
the poll that will dump the problems into the hands of Zimbabweans,”
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