Friday, 26 July 2013
AUC CHAIRPERSON ANNOUNCES IMMINENT ARRIVAL OF HEAD OF AU ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION
Harare, Zimbabwe 25 June 2013- The Head of the African Union Observer Mission, former Nigerian President Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo will arrive in Harare on Saturday 27th July, ahead of the harmonized elections to be held on the 31st of this month and Zimbabwean President Mr. Robert Mugabe is looking forward to welcoming President Obasanjo.
AU Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma announced this yesterday at State House in Harare after paying a courtesy call on President Mugabe. Among other issues in their discussions, she recalled that the AU Long Term Observer Mission has been on the ground since June 15 and that the short term observers are now here. Together, the two teams make up the African Union Election Observer Mission (AU-EOM). The AU-EOM has a mandate to observe the 31 July 2013 Harmonised Elections.
Dr Zuma’s visit also served to discuss the forthcoming elections with Mr. Mugabe, who is also a presidential candidate under the Zimbabwe African National Union, Patriotic Front (ZANU PF).
“We also touched on the issue of the forthcoming elections”, said Dr Zuma. In this respect, she said, “He informed us, as others have, that parties are campaigning peacefully and that he, like all of us hoped that this will be the case until the results are announced”.
The AUC Chairperson also announced that she had met the Prime Minister Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai who is running for presidency under the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), the leader of the Zimbabwe Development Party Mr Kisinote Mukwazhe and the Vice President of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), Ms Emilia Mukaratirwa. In addition, she had a telephone conversation with Mr. Welshman Ncube of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The Chairperson said there was a feeling from her discussions that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was doing a good job, although there were a number of concerns. “ZEC admits there were problems with the special voting but that they are much more prepared for the elections,” she said.
She noted that the registration figure for the elections is very high, standing at 93 percent of people of voting age. “We are hopeful everything will go according to plan”, the Chairperson concluded.