AU observers laud Zimbabwe poll

2013-07-31 14:47

Harare - African Union poll observers said Zimbabwe's crunch presidential election Wednesday had so far passed off peacefully.

With polls open for around half their allotted time, the 69-member observation team issued an update report about the conduct of the vote.

"The processes at most of the polling stations observed by the AU observer teams were proceeding in an orderly and peaceful manner," the organisation said in a statement.

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Elections in 2008 were marked by bloodshed and widespread voter intimidation.

The AU mission - which has been criticised by President Robert Mugabe's challenger Morgan Tsvangirai for painting a rosy picture of vote preparations - is led by former Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo.

He visited polling stations in Harare.

But Tsvangirai and non-governmental groups have voiced concern that the electoral roll, which was not released until the eve of the vote, is ripe for manipulation.

It is alleged the list contains many duplicate and ghost voters.

The Election Resource Centre, an NGO which is collating reports of problems, said it had received multiple reports of ballot papers running out people finding their names were not on the register.

About 600 foreign election observers, mainly from African bodies, have been accredited to watch the polls in addition to 6 000 local observers.

Zimbabwe has not invited Western observer missions because of sanctions imposed on Mugabe and his top officials for rights abuses.

For all Zimbabwe election stories please visit our Zimbabwe Special Report Page.

  • jeremy thorpe - 2013-07-31 14:52

    It may be peaceful - but will it be fair? Particularly when the counting begins this evening. If there's going to be crooking, that's when it'll happen!

      Johnson Smith - 2013-07-31 15:06

      Will you believe them to be fair if Mugabe wins? Even if the AU vouches they were fair?

      Revelgen - 2013-07-31 15:11

      And, of COURSE, you can believe that useless entity called the AU....

  • Avalon Dragonrider - 2013-07-31 15:06

    They are biased and blind; already issues have reared head like the fact that there are over 100 000 people on the voters roll that are 100 to 120 yrs old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Voters with slip have also been turned away. And this is from inside source

      Silvia Van Eck - 2013-07-31 16:12

      Yep, a list of these 100+ old voters was shown on the 6pm news here in the UK the other night..

  • Léviter Au-dessus des Montagnes-Bleues - 2013-07-31 15:12

    a Zuma to Zuma approach cannot be contradicted especially in a union BOUGHT & PAID FOR SEAT! Keep it in the family for Inzondo kwa-Nkandla wants to secure more rights and contracts further in to the MUTUALLY CONTROLLED mines and resources across central Africa.

  • Vlad Wasinsky - 2013-07-31 15:22

    What use have the AU. At every election in Zim they too eager to say it was free and fair despite the voting fraud committed by Mugabe?.

  • Edwin Chipungu - 2013-07-31 15:34

    Let it be remembered that 2008 was as peaceful as it is today.It was after Zanu Pf had lost and a run off declared that violence flared so badly and the millitary junta tool over.Zanu Pf must have a better rigging strutegy or history is gona repeats itself.God forbid.

  • Robin Mentor - 2013-07-31 15:46

    Why can't the AU see the truth?

  • Mona J Mudodo Sithole - 2013-07-31 16:00

    since 2002 sadc was always saying elections were free and its not a suprise

  • Patrick Hayes - 2013-07-31 16:01

    All the observers in Zim,AU,Sadc ,Comesa included have have been impressed with the Zim election. Further putting shame to Western imperialist forces who hoped the elections would be condemned. VIVA Zimbabwe! Viva President RG! The unholly alliance of tsvangi and his western sponsors are set for a humiliation.

  • Duncan Sime - 2013-07-31 16:27


  • Tim Norris - 2013-07-31 16:41

    Vote rigging is at the counting and compilation stage. They need to watch that and the replacement/transport of ballot boxes

  • Patrick Hayes - 2013-07-31 16:51

    African-American community,let's rally behind our Comrade President Robert Mugabe,the African liberator.The greatest African leader of all time. Down with Imperialism!Down with slavery! Down with puppets! Viva Zimbabwe!

  • Wekunetsa Münétsié - 2013-07-31 17:04

    Why is it most people are so ruthless on this website, one always expect a bad image on Zim Why wy y WHY???? Just appreciate the peacefull environment which is here. Just be positive for once

  • Jabulani Buthelezi - 2013-07-31 17:33

    The winner takes all concepts must prevail in Zimbabwe so that the winner can fulfil the expectation of the voters

  • richard.hewett.10 - 2013-07-31 18:27

    Patrick you forget to say : down with begging from the rest of the world for money and food. while the rest of the world are going forward Zimbabweans are going back in time. There s lot of oppertunities for entrepeneurs in Zim wich can grow your economy create jobs and empowering the few Zimbabwians ho havent left the country. It s a case of the blind leading the blind. good luck with the election. i hope you got what you deserve.

  • Robin Stobbs - 2013-07-31 18:37

    Oh yeah! Like we came down in the last rain shower! Do they take into consideration the decades of indoctrination where the electorate sheep are told that the computers will tell who votes for who, or where they're told that their ancestors will tell all, and so on - just as happens in SA? I, for one, have absolutely no faith in anything the AU vomit!

  • Greg Van Der Lingen - 2013-07-31 18:55

    They have got to be joking.. with so much inefficiency regarding voter's rolls and ballot papers, and pre-election intimidation.. even if on the actual day no-one was even spat on... how CAN this be considered a free and fair election... remember 2008 anyone? And the SADC report no-one was allowed to read?

  • James Smythe - 2013-07-31 19:14

    Ludicrous. It is impossible to hold an election that is 'free and fair' when the electoral roll has already been manipulated, falsified and stacked with non-existent people to allow massive voting fraud!

  • Moreblessings Chibagidi - 2013-07-31 21:51

    yea free and thought people where going to be beaten up, burnt etc. No violence this time and the only language the mdc can now sing is unfree and unfair and rigging!!!

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