Nqobile Tshili/ Esinathy Sibanda, Chronicle Reporters
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has deployed its chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba and two other officials to observe South Africa’s elections today.
South Africa holds its national elections today with a record 48 political parties contesting in the polls.
In an interview yesterday, Zec commissioner Dr Qhubani Moyo said the electoral commission’s officials would not just observe the elections but also learn how to improve the country’s electoral systems.
“Zec dispatched its chairperson Justice Chigumba, the director voter education (Rejoyce Sibanda) and its acting Chief Elections Officer (Utoile Silaigwana) to observe South Africa’s elections. This is also a follow up to the learning visit during which Zec had also dispatched its chairperson, commissioner (Qhubani) Moyo and its CEO and also members of political parties that are represented in Parliament to go and understand the electoral processes in South Africa as a neighbour and a member of Sadc. So it’s a follow up to go and have a practical understanding of what is going on there,” said Dr Moyo.
He said while the country is not in election season, Zec is using this period to prepare for the next general elections in 2023.
Dr Moyo said apart from the South African elections, the electoral body would be sending teams to various countries that are in election season where it has been invited.
“Zec is using this period to try and understand how elections are working in other jurisdictions. For instance, Zec is deploying Commissioner (Dr Ngoni) Kundidzora to observe elections in Malawi which are happening in the next two weeks.
“Zec has also been invited to go and learn and observe elections in Australia which are happening soon. Zec is dispatching Commissioner Dr (Qhubani) Moyo tomorrow (today) to go and learn experiences in India where that country is also having elections. So it’s a hectic programme for Zec.
“We want to get a wider understanding and experiences and see how we can improve our own electoral processes,” said Dr Moyo.
Meanwhile, an 11-member team sent by President Mnangagwa to also observe the South African elections has said the environment in the neighbouring country is peaceful and calm.
The team is led by Zanu-PF secretary for finance Cde Patrick Chinamasa and includes party spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, former Senate President Cde Edna Madzongwe, Zanu-PF deputy secretary for youth affairs Cde Lewis Matutu and secretary for business liaison Cde Sithembiso Nyoni. Other members of the delegation are Cdes Amon Murwira, Mike Madiro, Monica Mavhunga, Fortune Chasi, Mail Nkomo and Caroline Tsitsi Mugabe.
“We are monitoring the campaign process as we go to the elections, the environment and the elections themselves. On Sunday we attended the ANC’s final ‘Siyanqoba’ rally and from our observation, victory is certain for the revolutionary party,” Zanu-PF secretary for information and publicity Cde Khaya Moyo told The Chronicle from Johannesburg.
“ANC supporters came out in their numbers to firmly stand behind the ruling party. More than 70 000 members packed into Ellis Park Stadium and the party could be heading for a victory and the rally was a huge success sending a clear message of dominance. The environment is very peaceful and calm.”
Cde Matutu said he is pleased by youth participation in the coming polls as more young people graced the star rally.
“The ANC youth league has done a lot of mobilisation for the party and they’re in control of their structures from top to bottom.
“Having more youths taking charge of choosing leaders shows that they appreciate that they are the vanguard of the party and are required to protect the revolution through active participation,” he said.