An election observer team from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is expected to arrive in the country on Sunday for a week-long pre-election assessment. The team will also meet with the government, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and political parties ahead of the harmonised elections will be held between July 21 and August 21, 2018.
Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Joey Bimha told the Sunday Mail,
Both Sadc and the AU are coming for the pre-election assessment process. It was decided that observing elections now entails long-term observation and not just the polling process. The intention is that long-term observation guarantees stability and creates room for more thorough observation.
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Observation is now being done at three stages. The first one entails observing the pre-election period, the second stage is the campaigns and the polling, before a final team is sent to assess stability and acceptability after results have been announced.
The SADC Electoral Advisory Council is instrumental in this regards and will send a team. We will be having the Sadc team for the pre-election stage between March 11 and 17; they will be here to assess if the environment is conducive for holding a credible, free and fair election.
…For the AU team, we do not have a date as yet but they will be here in the coming weeks. I’m not sure about the dates for the EU team, but off hand, I think they will be around the same time we will be hosting the AU delegation.
More: Sunday Mail