AU to help ZEC, says to send experts before and after 2018 elections

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WITH a few months to go before this year’s harmonised elections the African Union (AU) has pledged to assist the government and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) with technical support and expertise.

The AU promised to send a team to work with ZEC before and after the elections, adding it was also going to mobilise partners to finance the process and give technical assistance to help prepare and run the elections between 30 and 45 days.

This will be the first polls since the country got independence in 1980 in which toppled former president Robert Mugabe will not be participating.

Since 1980, elections in Zimbabwe have been marred in violence with many results, since 2000, disputed.

Speaking to journalists at a press briefing at the end of hims three day visit to the country in Harare this week, the AU commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he was also impressed by the new government’s commitment credible elections.

“The Africa Union is going to give the Zimbabwe government which is in transition its technical support which is the expertise managed by the political affairs department so that they can work together,” he said.

“Mobilisation is done before the elections so that these organs can work together with those organising and in charge of the elections in Zimbabwe.

“We at the same time mobilise partners who can help in financing the process and we give technical assistance, this will be our role the role as the African union,” he added.

He also promised to help the new government to lobby for the removal of western ‘sanctions’ which were imposed on certain individuals and companies for the last two decades.

The AU chairperson, who met President Emmerson Mnangagwa, cabinet ministers, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and former president Robert Mugabe also endorsed the November coup.