Kuzeeko Tjitemisa WINDHOEK- Namibian observers to the Zimbabwean presidential elections have declared the country’s landmark elections to have been peaceful, transparent, free and ‘largely fair’, thus reflecting the will of the people of Zimbabwe in accordance with the SADC Principles and Guidelines on Democratic Elections. Namibian diplomat Tuliameni Kalomoh who is the head of the Namibian delegation to Zimbabwe told New Era yesterday that Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials conducted themselves professionally and diligently. “They appeared to have been well trained,” said Kalomoh the special advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah. He said political party polling agents were present at the polling stations when his team visited. “Polling stations we visited opened and closed on prescribed time. Voters in the queue at the closing time were allowed to cast their vote,” he said. Kalomoh added that at the opening of the voting, ballot boxes were inspected by political party polling agents in the presence of observers. “At the end of voting, the used ballot papers were reconciled with ballot paper books and the unused ballot papers by the presiding election officials, with political party agents, in the presence of observers,” he said. Kalomoh described the climate on the ground yesterday in Harare as calm but tense. “Supporters of the opposition MDC Alliance mounted violent protest on 1 August in Harare around the headquarters of the Electoral Commission of Zimbabwe and the hotel where results are being tabulated and announced,” he said. According to him, the opposition has accused ZEC of having rigged the elections and deliberately delaying the announcement of the presidential results. However, he said political parties, including, in particular, the MDC-Alliance have admitted to the media that they are involved in the process of verification of the results against the returns from all 10,985 polling stations. “It is only after the process of verification is completed that ZEC will announce the results as provided for in the Zimbabwe Electoral Act,” he said. “It should also be pointed out that the law allows for the announcement of results within five days after voting. In our view, the protest was uncalled for and all forms of violence should be rejected and condemned,” he said. “The Government of Namibia Observation Team expects that all those aspiring to political office through democratic electoral process must commit themselves to accept the verdict of the people,” he added. Kalomoh also used the opportunity to call on those who have imposed sanctions to lift them without further delay. Meanwhile, African News Agency (ANA) reported that the United States said it will continue to review data collected by its own observation teams, other international missions and local observers before it can make a complete assessment of the disputed Zimbabwe election. The MDC Alliance led by 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa is disputing the outcome of the polls, alleging that they were rigged to the point of having more votes than registered voters. While the winner, ZANU PF leader and incumbent president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, acknowledged that there were “challenges” he insisted the polls were free and fair.
2018-08-06 09:41:18 1 months ago