AU speaks on Zim elections

THE African Union Election Observer Mission (AU LTO) to the harmonised elections in Zimbabwe said the country is ready for peaceful elections amid claims of irregularities involving voter registration, special voting chaos and media polarisation.

Elias Mambo

In a press briefing on the pre-election observation report in Harare, AU Commissioner of Political affairs Aisha Abdullahi said Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a peaceful environment ahead of crucial polls next week.

“In general, the AU LTOs observed a largely peaceful and calm political environment,” she said.

However the team has also noted the chaos surrounding the voter registration, special voting and media polarisation ahead of the polls.

“From the Mission’s observation of the special vote, it has been generally noted that the process was characterised by logistical and management challenges, which denied several thousands applicants the opportunity to cast their ballots on the allotted days,” reads the statement.

The mission also said the voter registration denied thousands to register to vote.

“While acknowledging the increased number of registered voters from 5.2 million to 6.4 million, the mission noted that thousands more were unable to register due to the limited timeframe.”

Addressing the same media briefing the AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said all candidates are happy as the nation prepares for elections.

“We held meetings with all the candidates who said they are happy with the environment towards elections,” she said.

“We also had meetings with Zec who gave us a blow by blow account of what transpired during the special voting,” she said.

AU also said it is confident that Zec will be able to run a credible election and urged the nation to remain peaceful.

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