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Zim leads Sadc poll observer team

06 Oct, 2019 - 00:10 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

Sharon Munjenjema

Zimbabwe will lead the SADC Elections Observer Mission (SEOM) to the Mozambican general elections scheduled for October 15, as part of its mandate as chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over the chairmanship of the Organ at the 39th SADC Heads of State and Government summit held in Dar es Salaam in August. It was previously held by Zambia President Edgar Lungu.

In this role, President Mnangagwa is tasked with spearheading peace initiatives in all political endeavours in the region, including elections.

President Mnangagwa has since tasked Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri to lead the SEOM to Mozambique.

In a statement yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ministry spokesperson Mr Shepard Gwenzi said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri was expected to launch SEOM’s agenda tomorrow.

“As mandated by His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics Defence and Security Co-operation, Honourable Oppah CZ Muchinguri-Kashiri, the Minister of Defence and War Veterans, will lead the SEOM to the Republic of Mozambique, during the period 2 to 22 October, 2019.

“Hon Muchinguri-Kashiri will launch SEOM Mozambique on Monday 7 October, 2019 and to release the preliminary statement on the conduct of the elections on Thursday, 17 October, 2019,” read part of the statement.

The Minister is being accompanied by Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo, who will be the alternate head of mission and other senior Government officials. While on the mission, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri is expected to work closely with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the elections are conducted in a free, fair and credible manner.

Her team is expected to monitor the observance of SADC election principles and guidelines governing the conduct of democratic elections during the presidential, provincial and legislative polls.

“The core mandate of the SEOM shall be to determine the adherence of the Republic of Mozambique to democratic values and principles envisioned in the SADC Treaty, the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, and the provisions of the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2015),” read part of the statement.

Four candidates, including incumbent President Filipe Nyusi of the FRELIMO party, are vying for presidency.

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