Zim’s invite to observe SA elections riles watchdog 

Source: Zim’s invite to observe SA elections riles watchdog – The Southern Eye

THE South African chapter of the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa  (ACT SA) has expressed concern over the African National Congress government’s decision to invite Zanu PF and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to observe the elections set for Wednesday this week.

The South African government recently invited Zanu PF and Zec to observe the elections amid concerns by various stakeholders and opposition political parties that Zimbabwe will assist the ANC to rig the polls.

 

 

In a statement released recently, ACT South African chapter said ANC had an opportunity to defend regional democracy by inviting capable and credible observers not Zimbabwe’s ruling party and government.

“South African chapter of the ACT SA is profoundly troubled by the government and the ANC’s decision to invite Zanu PF and Zec to observe the SA elections scheduled for May 29,” the statement said.

“Inviting Zimbabwe, known for electoral malpractices and highly disputed elections, amounts to a mockery of democratic principles.

 

 

“The majority of Zimbabwean elections have been marred by electoral fraud and cheating by Zanu PF, Zec, other entities and individuals linked to Zanu PF. Evidence suggests that Zec is not independent and has been compromised by the Zanu PF party.”

ACT SA contended that the quality and integrity of election observers along with objective reporting of their observations, contribute to legitimising electoral outcomes.

“In Zimbabwe’s scenario, objective reporting is compromised as Zanu PF is reported to be assisting ANC in its campaign efforts that are already biased in favour of ANC.

“The integrity of election observers is crucial for boosting voter confidence, a fundamental aspect of democracy,” read the statement.

 

 

ACT SA country director for South Africa Sarah Bobhi Motha called on South Africans to refuse election observers linked to Zanu PF.

“There is absolutely nothing that South Africans can learn from the Zimbabwean election management system. Our organisation conducted thorough research in Zimbabwe and observed that Zec lacks independence, managing elections in a manner that favours Zanu PF,” she said.

“The commissioners and certain staff members have ties to Zanu PF and the security sector. Numerous instances of electoral corruption were noted in past elections, in collaboration with Sengezo Tshabangu, who appointed himself interim secretary-general of Citizens Coalition for Change.”

Motha said Zanu PF undermined democracy and free choosing of leaders by the people.

“This issue is grave and we must prevent South Africa from being influenced in a similar manner,” she said.

Motha called on South Africans to oppose any decisions permitting Zanu PF and Zec to observe SA elections.

“The strength of South Africa lies in its people. We must not accept this. It’s time to stand up and oppose Zanu PF and Zec’s involvement in our elections,” Motha said.

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