United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) administrator and vice chair of the UNDP Development Group Mr Achim Steiner says the agency is committed to the Zimbabwe government’s objectives of ensuring free, fair and credible elections and the goal of economic recovery.

The visiting UNDP chief said this when he addressed the media together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Retired Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo in Harare today.

The UNDP is already working closely with the Zimbabwean government to prepare for elections through provision of technical support and social areas such as health education and supporting the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

 The UNDP said there is a conducive environment for successful holding of free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe and the UNDP is willing to assist with what is required for the elections to be a success and the attainment of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) to which Zimbabwe signed two years ago.

He said the sustainable development programmes should include rural communities thus ensuring that no one is left behind.

Mr Steiner said UNDP is already working with the Zimbabwe government in the biometric voter registration (BVR) system and is willing to learn more from its interaction with stakeholders with a view to do more.

However, Minister Moyo confirmed the government’s commitment to credible and free elections to ensure the country moves forward.

He said the UNDP is a strategic partner and is working on various projects in the country.

Soon afterwards the UNDP chief met with Vice President Constantino Guvheya Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa offices in the capital.

Mr Steiner’s visit to Zimbabwe is the first one by a senior UN official since the transfer of power in Zimbabwe in November last year.

During his 4-day stay in Zimbabwe, he is expected to meet the President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice presidents, ZEC, Gender Commission, the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Human Rights Commission and other stakeholders including the opposition political parties.