The Commonwealth Observer Mission says Zimbabwe’s electoral environment has positively improved from the one which prevailed in 2002 before Zimbabwe pulled out of the grouping of former British colonies.
Former President of Ghana Mr John Dramani Mahama who heads the 23 member observer team said they will this Saturday deploy observers to the 10 provinces of the country to assess compliance with the guidelines for credible free and fair polls, adding that after the elections the team will make public their findings which will also have a bearing on the readmission of Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth.
In 2003 Zimbabwe pulled out of the Commonwealth and this year applied for readmission and as part of the assessment for the country’s readiness to rejoin the group, the Commonwealth accepted an invitation to observe the country’s elections.
The team led by Mr Mahama said it will conduct an objective assessment of the election and has also met stakeholders to get their concerns.
He implored the electoral mother body, ZEC, to contain the concerns raised by stakeholders so as to allow all players to feel equal and confident of the process but this must all be done within the dictates of the legal framework.
He additionally said they will be present in the country’s 10 provinces observing the electoral process.
The 2018 elections are a test of Zimbabwe’s democratic transition from the Mugabe era where the polls where disputed and the country was estranged from the international community.
The new order invited observers from all over the world with a promise to deliver a credible, free and fair election with the hope of gaining recognition and readmission into the family of nations.
To date the electoral environment has been relatively peaceful as opposed to the past and opposition political parties have been given unfettered access to canvass for support throughout.
However, some are skeptical of ZEC while the electoral mother body said the perception of them being conflicted is without merit as they are simply guided by the law enacted with the input of political parties in parliament.