The Southern African Development Community (SADC) observer mission has reportedly said that it won't endorse a fraudulent election in Zimbabwe. According to New Zimbabwe.com, a 63 member team led by Angola's secretary of state in the external relations ministry, Tete Antonio announced the regional body's decision after a meeting with political parties over the weekend. Instability in several southern African countries, including Zimbabwe, have cast a bad light across the region in recent years. "We spoke (to the parties) about consolidating democracy and we understood that democracy is a process and elections are only a part of that process. With the issues that were raised regarding reforms, we understand that steps were undertaken and we have taken note that 13 changes were done,"Antonio was quoted as saying. The country's main opposition has been leading protests over several issues, which include the design of the ballot paper and security around the ballot papers, the privately owned NewsDay reported. * Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTERFOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. These issues were raised by the SADC team at a meeting with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), said the report.This came a day after the African Union’s observer mission in the southern African nation pledged impartiality in discharging its duties in assessing the forthcoming polls.According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, the AU observer mission led by ex-Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemarian Desalegn Boshe said it would remain in the southern African country for at least two weeks after the polls.The AU said that it had deployed short term and long term observer mission teams which would both leave the southern African country on August 14, said the report. Both teams arrived in Zimbabwe at the beginning of the month. Since their arrival on July 2 – 5 respectively the observer mission teams have been meeting with all the stake holders in the southern African country. Zimbabwe was expected to head to the polls next week Monday.The elections will be the first since long-time ruler Robert Mugabe was removed from power last November following a brief military takeover.Mugabe's successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, will be squaring off against Nelson Chamisa, 40, of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance.Elections under Mugabe were marred by corruption, intimidation and violence, but Mnangagwa has vowed to hold a free and fair vote.