US rights groups jet in for elections 

Source: US rights groups jet in for elections – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 7, 2018

TWO United States-based rights groups, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), have dispatched a joint delegation to assess Zimbabwe’ readiness to conduct general elections scheduled for next month.

BY Own Correspondent

In a joint statement released on Tuesday, NDI and IRI said the delegation, which arrived on Sunday, included regional and election experts from Africa, Europe and North America, including Brigalia Bam, the former chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa.

Other members of the delegation include David Dreier, a former United States congressman, Barry Jackson, a former chief of staff to Speaker of the US House of Representatives, and Catherine Noone, the deputy leader of the Irish Senate. Elizabeth Lewis, IRI’s deputy director for Africa, Sandra Pepera, NDI’s director for gender, women and democracy, Larry Garber of NDI and Nicolas Teindas of IRI, who are both co-mission directors of the Zimbabwe International Election Observation Mission (ZIEOM) are also part of the delegation.

“Our delegation is here to assess the status of electoral preparations and review the pre-election environment in Zimbabwe,” Bam said.

“Our objective is to observe the country’s readiness for elections and offer practical suggestions for enhancing public confidence in the process that leads to the July 30 polls.”

NDI and IRI said the delegation’s visit and the deployment of observers is a response to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s statements welcoming international observers to monitor general elections set for July 30.