THE Sadc organ on politics yesterday said the world was watching developments in the country ahead of the forthcoming elections to be held on July 31.
Report by Feluna Nleya
Speaking at the launch of the Sadc election observer mission in the country, the representative of the chairperson of the organ on politics and diplomacy, Bernard Membe, said Sadc expected the country to hold a free and fair election.
The organ is chaired by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.
“The world is watching you. It watched in March during the referendum and it is going to be watching the people of Zimbabwe speaking, watching them making their will which should be respected by everybody in Zimbabwe and outside Zimbabwe,” Membe said.
“If these elections will be conducted in a free and fair atmosphere, the Sadc team and the region will accept the outcome of the polls because the people would have spoken. They would have expressed their will and Sadc will be left with no option, but to accept the outcome.”
Membe urged all interested stakeholders, including Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, law enforcement agents, presiding agents and party agents, to exercise restraint to avoid frustrating the electorate.
“We must come together to resolve our issues now, if there are problems. Let us try and resolve our differences during this time as we go down to the 31st. Let us sensitise people to use this time to raise concerns now before the elections,” he said.
Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salamao said as the country gravitated towards the elections, the challenge and responsibility to have peaceful, free, fair and credible elections lay within the hands of the Zimbabwean people.
“The process must assure voters and all stakeholders to honourably accept and respect the people’s verdict,” said Salamao.
“As a region, we are here to encourage the people of Zimbabwe settle the political challenges that have beset the country in the recent past through the ballot.”