AFRICA/ZIMBABWE - Observers of the African Union and the Church: Peaceful and regular elections,

Friday, 2 August 2013

Harare (Agenzia Fides) - "The vote took place in a peaceful atmosphere", said a joint statement of the Episcopal Commission "Justice and Peace" of Zimbabwe and the Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) at the end of the presidential election held on 31 July in the Southern African Country.
The two organizations of the Catholic Church deployed 2,796 election observers to verify the correctness of the vote. IMBISA, which for years has supported the efforts to promote democracy in Zimbabwe, sent a delegation to monitor the elections. The document expresses appreciation regarding the permission given to those who were still in the queue at the polling station to vote even after the closing of the voting process. The counting of votes began immediately after the end of voting and the counting of votes took place in a peaceful atmosphere.
However, some difficulties, related to the confusion in the voters lists were reported, which prevented several voters to exercise their right to vote.
Observers of the Catholic Church finally counted 47 serious accidents between episodes of intimidation or coercion in the vicinity of the seats (including attempted bribery of the vote, with gifts offered to the voters), unauthorized electoral propaganda, of serious irregularities in the counting of votes, and finally serious delays in the opening of polling stations. But overall the vote was carried out on a regular basis, as determined also by the observer mission sent by the African Union, presided by former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo. The latter denounced the election as "free, fair and credible, although some incidents, however, were not so important as to change the result".
from an initial counting of the votes, it seems that outgoing President Robert Mugabe is leading compared to the former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai (LM) (Agenzia Fides 02/08/2013)