THE highly-anticipated Zimbabwe’s first presidential elections in the post-Robert Mugabe era will be credible, free and fair, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo said on Monday.
“Zimbabwe is preparing for harmonised elections around July or August, and we believe that the election is going to be free and fair … a credible election. We have allowed anybody who wants to observe our elections to come in so that they can really see for themselves,” Moyo said speaking to journalists in Pretoria on the sidelines of the SADC Council of Ministers.
“The winner is going to be the winner — without any limitations. We are saying everybody (should) come and observe. We are saying, the benchmark we are going to be using is the SADC guidelines for elections. That’s what everybody must use. SADC is where we belong, that is why we are here.”
Moyo said the elections will also be in line with the African Union prescripts and guidelines.
Regarding the atmosphere in the post-Mugabe era, Moyo said the small southern African nation was moving on perfectly.
“Harare is excellent, is full of oomph and it is looking forward to a serious economic trajectory, all over the country.”
Moyo, remembered by many as the major-general in army fatigues and a beret who announced the military coup in Harare on the night of November 14 which crashed Mugabe’s 37-year iron-fist rule, said Zimbabwe’s new era under Emmerson Mnangagwa has since attracted massive investment into the dire economy.
“I can assure you that there has been tremendous response from the rest of the investment community — all over the world, in the region, and even within our own people. Therefore we are actually busy at the moment ensuring that the capital zone is comfortable in Zimbabwe, by ensuring that we achieve the ease of doing business for all these investors,” said Moyo emphatically.
“We have never had such amount of interest in Zimbabwe, like what we are experiencing now.”
Mugabe, 94, was removed from the position of President of Zimbabwe in November 2017 following a military intervention he has since described as a coup d’etat and therefore unconstitutional.
When Zimbabwe goes to the polls this year, Mnangagwa will face a stiff challenge from Nelson Chamisa who took over as the new leader of the country’s largest opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change after the death of Morgan Tsvangirai.
The SADC Council of Ministers meeting in Pretoria was hosted by South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu in her capacity as chairperson of the SADC’s Council of Ministers.