President Mnangagwa calls for calm amid protests

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

As Zimbabweans wait for the final results of the elections, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called for calm amid protests that have broken out on the streets of Harare.

According to his official Twitter account, he said: “At this crucial time, I call on everyone to desist from provocative declarations and statements.”

He urged the people of Zimbabwe to be patient while they wait for the final election results.

“We must all demonstrate patience and maturity, and act in a way that puts our people and their safety first. Now is the time for responsibility and above all, peace.”

On 30 July 2018, Zimbabweans went to the polls to elect the country’s President, Members of the National Assembly and Local Government Representatives.

They were the first post-independence elections held without former President Robert Mugabe who ruled for 37 years.

The elections were widely seen as an important moment in the country’s democratic transition.

Zimbabwe electoral laws must comply with constitution

Meanwhile, the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) says Zimbabwe needs to align and harmonise the electoral laws to comply with the Constitution.

The AUEOM noted improvements in Zimbabwe’s legal framework but said it still contained several gaps such as various regulations and the Electoral Act that are not properly aligned with the 2013 Constitution.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the AUEOM stated preliminary recommendations for consideration by the Zimbabwean stakeholders for improvement on their electoral processes in future.

In terms of the political environment, the AUEOM recommended that the country continue to maintain the current open and free political environment and all stakeholders should refrain from acts that may undermine the integrity of the electoral process or threaten the country’s peace and stability.

For other improvements, the AUEOM said Zimbabwe must consider putting in place mechanisms to increase women’s participation in the electoral process, particularly as candidates.

“In light of the partisan and polarised nature of the media in Zimbabwe, consider full implementation of the Broadcasting Service Act and ensure equal access to the State Broadcaster to all contestants during elections.

“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should avail the final voters register to political parties, candidates and other relevant stakeholders within a reasonable time to allow for a comprehensive voter audit and verification, as well as facilitate effective participation in the process,” the AUEOM said.

ZEC should foster dialogue and consultation with stakeholders to enhance confidence in the electoral process and put measures in place to efficiently operationalise the Multi-Party Liaison Committee meetings to improve communication with stakeholders. –