African states give ZEC thumbs up

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Barely three weeks after the July 30 harmonised elections, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and Zimbabwe at large, are already receiving accolades from fellow African countries for conducting the recent polls in a professional manner.

Further, the countries are keen to learn from ZEC with a view to implementing the experiences in their own electoral systems.

One such country that has expressed interest to learn from ZEC is Ethiopia which is preparing for its general elections due in 2020.

The admiration and honour of ZEC at such a high level flies in the face of a court challenge by MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, who is questioning the credibility of the electoral body and accusing it of conniving with zanu-pf to rig the elections in favour of President Mnangagwa.

The court challenge will be heard by the Constitutional Court tomorrow.
In a letter dated August 4, 2018 addressed to ZEC chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba, chairperson of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, Ambassador Samia Zekaria said she wanted to embark on a study visit to Zimbabwe at the shortest possible time.

Ambassador Zekaria is Ethiopia’s former ambassador to Nigeria and has a rank of a Cabinet Minister.
“It is my honour and privilege to introduce myself to you as a new chairperson of the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia,” said Ambassador Zekaria.

“Let me start by congratulating you for the successful conduct of the 2018 of Zimbabwe. It is to be recalled that His Excellency Haile-mariam Desalegn, the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, was leading African Union Observers of your country last month.

“According to his report, your staff’s professionalism was commendable. His Excellency recommended we should share experience especially in utilising the automated Voters’ Roll. Since we are preparing for the 2020 general election, it is high time we should share your experience as early as possible. As you may realise, to introduce new technology the time is against us.”

She continued: “I therefore, would like to request your esteemed Commission to facilitate our study visit in the shortest possible period of time. The participants will be only two, myself and my colleague. Please be informed that I have copied this letter to our Ambassador (Hadiza) Mustapha in Zimbabwe for his follow up.”

The just-ended harmonised elections that have been endorsed by several organisations as peaceful, fair, credible were held in line with Zimbabwe’s electoral laws and Sadc and African Union guidelines on elections.

Africa and the developing world endorsed the elections and congratulated President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF on their victory.

Diplomats from various regions in Africa and the developing world visited President Mnangagwa at State House recently to congratulate him.

They said they gained a lot of lessons and their countries were set to benefit from Zimbabwe’s electoral system.
The ambassadors were led by Dean of the Diplomatic Corp Ambassador Mwawapanga Mwanananga of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Regions that were represented at the meeting include Sadc, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which covers the East African Community, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which was represented by Indonesian ambassador Mr Stephanus Yuwono.

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