Commonwealth condemns July 30 elections

HARARE - The Commonwealth has refused to endorse the July 30 elections saying they failed to meet international standards.

The final report was released by the Commonwealth Observer Group to Zimbabwe which was chaired by former Ghana president John Dramani Mahama.

In the report, Mahama expressed concern over two major issues which he said unfairly unlevelled the playing field in favour of the ruling Zanu PF.

“The first was the heavy bias of the State print and broadcast media in favour of the governing party. The second was use of incumbency privileges in a manner that unduly disadvantaged opposition parties,” Mahama said.

Mahama added that persistent allegations of intimidation reported to the group also tilted the playing field.

“The post-election violence, which resulted in fatalities, and the behaviour of security forces, marred this phase of the elections,” Mahama said.

On August 1, six people who were demonstrating against the outcome of the election result were shot dead after soldiers opened live fire.

Mahama described the post-election violence as regrettable and condemned the army’s use of excessive force against citizens exercising their right to protest as enshrined in the Constitution.

The group said the use of excessive force against protesting citizens was a setback the elections which had been conducted in a largely peaceful and much improved environment.

Mahama said: “For these reasons, we are unable to endorse all aspects of the process as credible, inclusive and peaceful.”

However, the Mahama-led observer group noted that some important gains were made during the election period.

It commended the improved preelection environment where all parties were generally able to campaign freely.

“The polls on July 30 were conducted in a peaceful manner, and were well managed and transparent.

“For the first time, four out of a record 23 presidential candidates were women,” he said.

He noted that more needs to be done to improve women’s political representation in Zimbabwe.

The group also commended Zimbabweans for their enduring commitment to democracy as reflected in the encouraging voter turnout.

“The group was aware that this report would be considered by the Commonwealth Secretary-General in the membership assessment process,” Mahama said, adding that he hopes the report will be valuable in the ongoing assessment of the country’s interest to re-join the organisation.

Comments (7)

Kutikanyira nekupfura vanhu, anachiwenga. Tsvee zveku ita concentrate ne bleaching.

Yohwe - 12 November 2018

The terrorist element within Zanu PF tried very hard to be "gentlemanly and humane" in front of the whole world before and during the elections, but the pretense ended dramatically on 1st August when state terrorism came to the fore in front of the whole world. There are no words to describe the magnitude of the disaster which awaits our nation because of this.

Sagitarr - 13 November 2018

We are now waiting for AU and SADC reports. Can they be impartial on this. Lets wait and see.

Amalinze - 13 November 2018

did anyone see the soldiers fire into the crowd?what if some people came with guns and fired to make it look like it was done by the soldiers.Lets be open minded.

mordillo - 13 November 2018

ARE YOU SAYING SINCE THE PROTESTORS WRE SHOT FROM BEHIND RUNNING AWAYFROM THE SOLDIERS THEN THE SHOOTERS WERE AMONG THE SOLDIERS

ANNAN - 13 November 2018

Aaah, the Commonwealth is just a club that includes Britan and its former colonies, where they meet to remince the periods of colonialism. And there are also some games that are organised by members. Otherwise thee is nothing much. They mention of people killed in demostrations. do they know of cars that were damaged by these people? Does the Zim constitution allow people to demostrate burning cars? Haa, kwanai mhani vanhu imi ve Commonwealth. It is people like you who make Mugabe appear more good than a saint.

Danayi Pazvagozha - 13 November 2018

Do i hear someone justifying the cold-blooded murder of a mother because some cars were burnt by protesters? Can you prove that the people who died were active participants ..? And...there are insurance policies that can make replacement possible, but will the bereaved families ever be comforted enough? Zanu pf refined the policies of Ian Smith and now they are mirred in violence they know of no other solution. We need to look in the mirror and accept truth even if it's painful... Our leaders are having sleepless nights because of troubled consciences..let's help them find salvation by sticking to the truth and nothing but the truth. Men who lie under oath are doomed ...forever..unto the fifth generation..

C. Kandez - 15 November 2018

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