HARARE – Head of the African Union (AU) observer mission Olusegun Obasanjo said yesterday his mission will be constantly alerting the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) on electoral irregularities to ensure Zimbabwe has a credible, free and fair election on July 31.
In an address to journalists after meeting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare yesterday, the former Nigerian President said the AU will not only observe elections but constantly interact with the electoral commission.
Tsvangirai has alleged the election is being rigged.
“We can be in our own little way faithful transmitters to that which needs to be transmitted to make sure that we have a free fair and credible election which actually reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe,” Obasanjo said.
“And yesterday when we met the electoral commission, we did mention to them that as we go along, they may be need for us to pass information along because we are here not to conduct an election, we are here to observe the election but if we find something or if something is brought to our attention that need to be passed to them, how do we pass it to them and they gave us a contact which we can reach to them, and we are already making use of that,” he said.
Tsvangirai’s MDC challenged Zec to prove to political parties that the electoral body is independent and impartial by hastily rectifying irregularities the party had noted to the commission including duplication of ballot papers, withholding of the voter’s roll and the proposed counting of ballot papers away from polling stations.
The AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said in a report despite the glitches faced during voter registration and the special vote, the AU was confident that Zec will on July 31 successfully run the general election.
Obasanjo said the 80-member observer team is yet to meet other stakeholders and other observers to get a diverse voice.
“We have met Zec, civil society organisations, we have met some of the ambassadors particularly some of the African ambassadors, we are going to meet other observer teams and we are hoping for the best,” Obasanjo said.
“Whoever we meet, we try to find out what are the areas that need to be corrected.”