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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Local Observer Mission delivers preliminary election report

Story by Wellington Makonese

THE Civic Society and Churches Joint Forum Observer Mission have released a preliminary report on the just-ended General Elections, commending the electoral body for delivering credible elections under stringent circumstances.

In the preliminary report, the Civic Society and Churches Joint Forum recognised mutual respect among political players which culminated in a credible plebiscite despite pressures from some circles.

The mission covered over 70 rallies by different political parties and deployed personnel at over 400 polling stations countrywide.

“We are a combination of the church and Civic Society. We have our prints on the ground during this election, and we noticed that the election preparation was peaceful up to voting, there were isolated incidents where we heard that some associations and individuals addressed the people at polling stations, otherwise generally the election was free fair and credible from our assessment and tight circumstances,” said the national coordinator for Civic Society and Churches Joint Forum, Ms Abigail Mupambi.

The mission noted the uneven playing field as a result of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and its Western allies.

“We also take note of the effects of sanctions on the ability of the citizen to make independent choices, we would also expect other observers to make comprehensive reports beyond bias over that as it also affected elections credibility,” said Ms Mupambi.

High litigation and propagation of inaccurate media reports were also noted.

“Before the campaigns, there were complaints, particularly from the CCC on unequal coverage and we noticed then on that there was balanced coverage up to the election. However, there are questions over ethics as we saw mostly international media peddling falsehoods and some sections of the local media.”

The mission is one of the local observers for the General Elections where several countries and international organisations such as SADC, commonwealth and the European Union were invited to witness the polls.

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