The African Union (AU) has launched the continental body’s electoral observation mission to the 2018 harmonised elections with a pledge to be objective, impartial and neutral in line with the AU overall vision for a peaceful, prosperous and integrated Africa.

The launch was led by former Ethiopian Prime Minister Mr Hailemarian Desalegn Boshe who said the Mission Zimbabwe was at the invitation of the government and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, a practice that is in conformity with the AU guidelines guiding democratic elections.

Outlining the mission’s mandate to the members of the group, Mr Desalegn implored the members to be impartial in the discharge of their duties.

The 54 member team deployed by the AU will observe the process and issue a report after the elections.

Mr Desalegn said it is not in their mandate to interfere since it is up to the people of Zimbabwe to choose their preferred candidate.

He also said all political parties that are aggrieved by the processes done so far should use the legal frameworks to seek redress and avoid conflict.

Mr Desalegn further stated that a credible election in Zimbabwe will contribute to the enhancement of democracy not only in Zimbabwe but the whole continent.