Andrew Kunambura 13 March 2018
HARARE – The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) has dispatched
an advance team to assess Zimbabwe’s state of preparedness for the
forthcoming general elections.
The team, which is headed by chairperson of the regional organisation’s
Electoral Advisory Council (Seac) chairperson Leshele Thohlane, will spent
seven days in the country interacting with electoral stakeholders,
including political parties, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and other
“Out of that interaction, we would be able to assess how ready we think
the republic is ready to hold elections and then we will make a report
that will go to the executive secretary of Sadc who will in turn
communicate to the head of summit.
“It is the head of summit who will then commission another mission that
would be here to come and do the observation. So, really, this is the
purpose and spirit of us coming here. We hope we will be able to spend the
whole week interacting with all these stakeholders,” Thohlane said after a
meeting with Foreign Affairs and International Trade minister Sibusiso
Moyo in Harare yesterday.
“We would offer you our assistance and also offer you our technical
abilities where needed to cooperate fully with Sadc electoral guidelines,”
Moyo said government would welcome the Sadc technical support.
“Our desire as a government is to deliver a credible, free and fair and
transparent election and in our culture as the sub region, we believe that
Sadc is the most critical organisation and therefore we want to get as
much technical support and technical advice as possible so that we have
that ability to deliver,” said Moyo.
Sadc becomes the first organisation to send its observer team to the
country, with elections just a few months away.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said his government would invite
observers from the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
as well as Western countries like Britain and the United States which
could previously not come to observe local polls because of bilateral