President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is an independent electoral body and anyone not satisfied with its conduct should approach the courts for redress.

The President said this soon after meeting The Elders team, led by former United Nations Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, at Statehouse this morning.

The 3-member team of The Elders, which also comprises of former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson and former Foreign Minister of Algeria, Mr Lakhdar Brahimi, arrived in the country yesterday and is meeting political parties and other stakeholders in Zimbabwe ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections.

The Elders this morning met President Mnangagwa at State House, who told them that the pre-election environment is peaceful and that the government has no business in meddling in ZEC affairs as the body is independent in line with the country’s laws.

“We are going through a process of harmonised elections and this time around, there are many political pareties created as a result of opening up of the democratic space in the country. We are happy that our people and the political parties have heeded our call for peace, yes there was an incident in Bulawayo that was intended to assassinate me, not democracy. We have ZEC, which is an independent body, the government has no role in controlling or influencing ZEC at all, they are governed by the Eletoral Act as well as the constitution and those who feel that ZEC has not complied with the law or constitution, our courts are open to deal with such issues,” said Cde Mnangagwa.

Also speaking after the meeting, Mr Annan said they are in Zimbabwe to encourage peaceful and credible elections, adding that they will be holding a media briefing tomorrow [Saturday] when they have concluded all their meetings.