Regional ecumenical observers deployed across Zim

EMINENT clergy and church leaders from across southern Africa have arrived in Zimbabwe to observe the country’s harmonised elections.

Hazel Ndebele

The 30-member delegation has been deployed across the country’s ten provinces to observe the conduct of the polls and will remain in the country during the tallying of votes, the announcement of results and will also monitor the immediate post-election developments.

The delegation which is on  its second visit to Zimbabwe following an earlier visit this July, have commended Zimbabweans for the relative calm which is currently prevailing in the country.

Head of delegation Reverend Mmachakga Mpho Moruakgomo of Botswana appealed for calm and urged Zimbabweans to cast their votes in peace.

“Emotions are high at present and we are calling on political leaders to be calm and put the country first, the success of the election will be a win for the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

The church leaders urged all the parties to accept the results of the poll and where results were being contested parties were encouraged to resort to the courts for redress.

“We are not here to interfere, we as regional churches would like to see elections that are held in accordance with laws of this country and in accordance with Sadc principles and guidelines governing democratic elections. We would like to see results that reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe and as observers we want to ensure that the secrecy of the ballot is protected and that poling is administered fairly,” Moruakgomo said.

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) is coordinating the visit of the regional religious leaders from ten countries drawn from the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa (FOCCISA).

The delegation urged Zimbabweans to continue to pray for peace and tolerance in the coming days and continue to advocate for the observance of the rule of law, the promotion and respect of human rights.

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