The leader of the African Union (AU) Election Observation Mission and Former Ethiopian Prime Minister, Mr Hailemarian Desalegn Boshe, says this is a new era for Zimbabwe and the AU is confident the country will deliver free, fair and credible elections. 

The former Ethiopian Premier arrived in the country today and was met at the Robert Mugabe International Airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Retired Lieutenant General Sibusiso Moyo.

Some long term observers from the AU are already in the country and are expected to remain until the 14th of next month so that they also assess the post election period.

Mr Desalegn said judging from the updates that they have been receiving from members of their team who are already here, Zimbabwe and all political parties have been able to hold their campaign rallies without disturbances which is commendable.   

Minister Moyo said the coming of international and regional election observers is a testimony of the government’s pledge to open up the elections.

The deployment of the AU mission is in line with the AU’s mandate of promoting democracy and democratic election s in Africa.

The mission has 50 short term observers and four long term observers.

AU was invited by government and the chairperson of the AU Commission, Mr Moussa Mahamat approved the deployment of the election observation mission which is made up of the Pan African Parliament, African election management bodies, members of the academia and civil society organisations, among others.