AU happy with Zim poll preps - Dlamini-Zuma

2013-07-25 09:09

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Cape Town – The African Union is happy with the progress made by Zimbabwe so far in preparation for the 31 July harmonised elections, AU chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has said, according to a report.

Herald said on Thursday that although a full media briefing on observer reports was yet to be made, Dlamini-Zuma who arrived in Harare on Wednesday gave the clearest hint that observers were satisfied with the preparations made so far.

"Siyayithola imbiko kulaba akade bafika. Okwamanje kukahle imbiko esiyitholayo ayikasenzi ukuthi sibenovalo kodwa sifuna ukuzobona nje nathi ukuthi kuqhubekani. (Those who came earlier said all was well and as of now everything is proceeding well. Nothing gives us any cause for alarm)," she said.

Dlamini-Zuma said the AU was being briefed about the situation in the country by a 10-member observer team that has been in the country since July 15.

"We are here as the African Union observer mission, but, as you know, our team has been here for quite some time . . . they have been sending us reports, so we are fairly informed, but we felt that it was important to come and see for ourselves before the elections."

Dlamini-Zuma said she was keen to meet political stakeholders to get first-hand information on what was transpiring regarding the electoral process.

Olusegun Obasanjo's visit

"We are still to talk to a number of people around the election, [the Zimbabwe] Electoral Commission, candidates, just to see how things are, before the actual election."

Dlamini-Zuma, however, said that the AU Mission Chairperson and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo's visit to the country as part of the AU observer team was not guaranteed, saying it depended on whether the Zimbabwe government would allow him.

"I think he will come. If he is allowed he will come. They allowed me to come, that is all I’m saying."

Dlamini-Zuma's comments come following reports that the Pan African Forum had rejected Obasanjo as head of the AU observer mission to Zimbabwe. 

According to enca, the forum accused the former Nigerian president of being divisive and said his appointment could lead to an Egypt-style scenario in Zimbabwe.

The Kenyan-based lobby group supporting AU objectives is comprised of academics and students.

It accused Obasanjo of leaving a trail of failed mediation missions in his wake adding that "the African Union cannot entrust be the vanguard of democracy in any country especially Zimbabwe where he has close ties with the opposition".

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