Commonwealth Observer Group arrives in Zimbabwe

18 August 2023
Press release
Commonwealth Observer Group Zimbabwe

The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Observer Group has called on all Zimbabwean political parties and their supporters to uphold standards for credible, inclusive and transparent elections.

At a press conference in Harare, Ambassador Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s Former Cabinet Secretary for Education and Foreign Affairs said: “Today, I am here as a fellow African, and a friend to Zimbabwe as the country seeks to consolidate its democratic values. The same values held dear by the Commonwealth: peace, democracy, the rule of law and good governance.”

She added: “It is my hope that our presence here affirms the unwavering support of the Commonwealth to this country and its democratic processes.”

The Group will observe Zimbabwe’s Harmonised Elections at the invitation of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland KC, and will be deployed across the country to observe the whole process.

The 14-member Group has been selected from across the Commonwealth following an invitation to observe the elections from Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Over the coming days, the Group will receive briefings from political parties, the media and civil society groups. This will enable the Group to get a better understanding of the situation within the country ahead of the elections.

An estimated 6.6 million registered voters will have the right to cast ballots to elect councillors, members of parliament, and a president on 23 August.

From the 21 August, observers will be deployed across various parts of Zimbabwe to observe the pre-election preparations as well as voting, counting and results processes at polling stations.

An interim statement, which provides the group’s preliminary assessment of the electoral process, will be delivered by the Chairperson at a press conference on 25 August in Harare.

Following the elections, the Group will submit its recommendations in a report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General. She will forward the report to the Government of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the leadership of political parties taking part in the elections and all Commonwealth governments. The report will be made public afterwards.