Voting in Zimbabwe’s harmonized presidential, parliamentary and council elections started off across the country on the 30th of July.
50 members of the African Union election observation mission (AUEOM) members are stationed in all the country’s ten provinces to assess the voting, counting and tabulation processes. This is in addition to the work already done by 14 long term observers who have been in the country since July 1. Their task was to assess and report on the electoral preparations and pre-electoral environment, including election administration, campaigning, voter education, media landscape, dispute resolution and other issues.
In Harare, an AUEOM team led by the Head of Mission, Mr HaileMariam Desalegne was at the Queen Elizabeth II as early as 06:30 this morning to witness the start of voting. He was accompanied by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs Mrs Minata Samate Cessouma.
“The most important observation so far is that this process is peaceful and we want to see this peaceful way continue until the election is concluded. As the African Union we want to see that peace prevails in Zimbabwe and we call on all stakeholders to take heed”, Mr. Desalegne told a local radio station after touring a number of polling stations in and around Harare.
Voting will close at 7pm Central AfricanTime. According to the website of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), the transmission of results, collation of presidential results, announcement of presidential results, and calculation of proportional seats will start on July 31 and finish on August 4th. The verification, publication and gazetting of results will start on August 4th and finish on August 13th.
On Wednesday 1 August, the AUEOM is expected to present its preliminary statement at a press conference to be held in Harare at the Rainbow Towers Hotel.