Harare, Zimbabwe- (African Boulevard News) – Zimbabwe is gearing up for its general elections which are scheduled to take place between July and 26th August 2023. In light of these upcoming elections, the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) is conducting consultations with various stakeholders in the country to conduct a pre-election goodwill mission. The SEAC mission aims to assess if the political and security environments are conducive to free, fair, transparent, credible, and peaceful elections.
SEAC Pre-Election Goodwill Mission
The SEAC pre-election goodwill mission kicked off with a courtesy call to the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Amon Murwira who also serves as the Minister of Tertiary and Higher Education Science and Technology Development in the government of Zimbabwe. The mission is being led by Judge Ticheme Dlamini, the Chairperson of SEAC and SEAC Member from the Kingdom of Eswatini, and Advocate Notemba Tjipueja, the Deputy Chairperson of SEAC and the SEAC Member from the Republic of Namibia.
Objectives of the SEAC Pre-Election Assessment Mission
The SEAC pre-election assessment mission has various objectives, including assessing the legal framework governing the 2023 general elections in Zimbabwe. Additionally, SEAC is assessing whether the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is prepared and ready to conduct the 2023 general elections. Furthermore, SEAC is also conducting the pre-election goodwill mission to ascertain if the political and security environments in the country are conducive to holding free, fair, transparent, credible, and peaceful elections.
Consultations with Key Stakeholders
The SEAC mission has been holding consultative meetings with various stakeholders in Zimbabwe. These consultations are necessary to help the SEAC appreciate the national context better. The SEAC team has held consultations with government departments, political parties (both ruling and opposition), civil society organizations, traditional leaders, and the leadership of the United Nations and the European Union Delegation in Zimbabwe.
SEAC Ready to Provide Recommendations
The SEAC mission to Zimbabwe is routine, and it is not the first time that SEAC is engaging with stakeholders in a Member State that is conducting elections. The consultations are intended to inform SEAC of the views of the stakeholders in Zimbabwe with respect to the conduct of the General Elections scheduled for July/August 2023. Nevertheless, the SEAC has not made a formal announcement on whether Zimbabwe is ready to conduct the elections or not. The SEAC team will submit a report at the conclusion of the mission, and a formal recommendation will be made to the Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.
The SEAC pre-election goodwill mission to Zimbabwe is an essential exercise that will provide an assessment of the country’s preparedness to hold its general elections. The objective is to ensure free, fair, transparent, credible, and peaceful elections. The mission is ongoing, and the SEAC team has been meeting with various stakeholders, including government departments, political parties, civil society organizations, traditional leaders, and the leadership of the United Nations and the European Union Delegation in Zimbabwe. The SEAC team is expected to submit a report at the conclusion of the mission, which will provide a formal recommendation to the Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation.