Zec invites observers for forthcoming polls In a statement, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chief elections officer, Mr Utloile Silaigwana said candidates from the ruling party in five wards remained the only duly nominated after the High Court upheld a challenge by CCC interim secretary general Mr Sengezo Tshabangu to bar the recalled candidates from participating in the polls to be held next week.

Wallace Ruzvidzo

Herald Reporter

All those who want to observe the forthcoming harmonised elections on August 23 must now apply to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

President Mnangagwa recently made it clear that Zimbabwe had nothing to hide as the country had put everything in place to ensure the election is free, fair and transparent.

The deadline for applications to ZEC is August 18, four days before election day.

Local observers will be charged a fee of US$10, observers from the rest of Africa US$100, those from foreign embassies in Zimbabwe US$300, and observers from any country outside Africa US$400.

For the media, local journalists pay US$10, Zimbabwean journalists accredited with the Zimbabwe Media Commission and working in Zimbabwe for foreign media houses will pay US$100, and media practitioners from Africa will be charged US$100.

Zec’s chief elections officer, Mr Utoile Silaigwana said all applications would be considered and would be subject to scrutiny by the Commission’s Observer Accreditation Committee, which would pass on its recommendations to ZEC.

In a notice yesterday, ZEC said: “Applications are hereby invited from all persons and organisations wishing to observe the electoral processes, the conduct of polling on polling day and the counting and collation of ballots

Applications would be considered for accreditation from: 

Individuals representing foreign countries or international organisations and foreign eminent persons who have applied to be accepted as observers 

Individuals representing local organisations and eminent persons from within Zimbabwe who have applied to be accepted as observers 

Individuals representing bodies that exercise functions similar to those of ZEC and had been invited by the ZEC to observe elections 

Individuals representing foreign countries or international organisations and foreign eminent persons who have been invited by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to observe the election; and 

Individuals representing local organisations and eminent persons from within Zimbabwe who have been invited by the Minister of Justice and Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

Applications were to be made to the Chief Elections Officer by the individual or eminent person, or the organisation that wishes its representatives to be accredited, or the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs or the Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

In an interview yesterday, Zec Vice Chairperson Ambassador Rodney Kiwa said observers from the diplomatic community had been enquiring even before the election date had been proclaimed.

Political analyst Tongai Tadana said that the invitation of local and international observers would only safeguard the country’s election integrity.

“ZEC is showing the world that we have nothing to hide and that we are working 24/7 to give our citizens a free, fair and credible election in 2023.

“Voter registration, delimitation process and voter education as it stands all is above board. Zimbabwe is showing once again that it has a democratic heart,” he said.

Another political analyst, Mr Gibson Nyikadzino said Zec was showing that it was prepared to oversee transparent and credible polls.

“Zec is living through the proclamation of the President that elections will be held on August 23. It is also showing its preparedness and readiness to ensure the elections are held in a credible and transparent manner, and the process is free and fair,” he said.

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