‘Sadc must supervise Zim elections’

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Zapu has urged Sadc, the guarantor of Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement (GPA), to deploy its security forces and electoral officials to superintend the country’s forthcoming general elections to ensure they are free and fair.

Addressing delegates at last week’s Independent Dialogue meeting in Bulawayo, Zapu legal adviser Stephen Nkiwani described the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) as partisan and unfit to deal with national elections without outside assistance.

“The truth is that we want to guard against violence by insisting that the monitoring force for forthcoming elections should consist of our own ZRP which is not trusted and trusted members of the Sadc police force,” he said.

“No ZRP members should be allowed to operate or patrol without the presence of Sadc police officers.”
Nkiwani added: “We also ask that to prevent fraud, members of a Sadc electoral team would have to be seconded to the local electoral commission and be glued to each other. I humbly ask Zimbabweans to reject any elections that would come without those guarantees.”

But national police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, on Tuesday scoffed at the suggestions saying the ZRP was non-partisan and had the capacity to ensure elections were held in a peaceful environment.

He added: “As police, our duty is just to ensure there is peace in the country during and after elections.

“We have no business in the actual conduct of the elections. We, however, would like to appeal to political players to urge their members to act within the confines of the law when elections are being held.”

Results for the March 2008 general elections were withheld for an unprecedented three weeks by the then Zec board led by High Court judge, Justice George Chiweshe, and no clear explanation was proffered for the delay.

President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly indicated that the country will hold national polls this year.