The African Union (AU) Commission in conjunction with Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) will deploy a joint Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Zimbabwe ahead of polls.
The Joint AU-COMESA EOM, comprising seventy-three (73) short-term observers (STOs) and three (3) Core Team of electoral experts, are set to observe the Elections from 16 to 29 August 2023.
The joint Mission will be led by Goodluck Jonathan, the former President of Nigeria, in collaboration with Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, former Prime Minister of Uganda.
The Republic of Zimbabwe is scheduled to hold its 2023 Harmonized elections on 23 August 2023.
According to a statement, the Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat of the African Union (AU) says the objectives of the Joint AU-COMESA EOM are to provide an accurate and impartial reporting or assessment of the quality of the 23 August Harmonized Elections in Zimbabwe, including the degree to which the conduct of the Elections meets Regional, Continental and International standards for democratic elections.
Similarly to offer recommendations for improvement of future Elections based on the findings as well as demonstrate AU’s solidarity and support towards Zimbabwe’s Election and democratization process to ensure that the conduct of democratic, credible and peaceful elections contributes to the consolidation of democratic governance, peace and stability in the Country.
The Joint AU-COMESA EOM draws its mandate from various AU and COMESA instruments, most importantly:
(a) the African Union Guidelines for Elections Observation and Monitoring Missions (2002);
(b) the OUA/AU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa (2002); African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (1981)
(c) African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007), COMESA Elections Observation Guidelines among others.
It is also in line with Aspiration No. 3 of the AU Agenda 2063, which aims to ensure good governance, democracy and respect for human rights, justice, and rule of law.
The joint AU-COMESA EOM will engage with several stakeholders and observe the final preparations and polling process.
Based on the findings, the joint EOM will issue its preliminary statement after Election day.