Commonwealth To Observe Zimbabwe’s 2018 Polls
The Commonwealth has revealed that it has assigned a 24 member team to observe Zimbabwe’s forthcoming elections.
The team, set to arrive in Zimbabwe on July 23 2018 will be led by former Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama.
Said the Commonwealth Secretary-General:
“I am extremely pleased to be deploying a group to observe the elections.
Its report on the electoral process will give member-countries a clear view of adherence to Commonwealth values in Zimbabwe, including democracy and rule of law plus protection of human rights such as freedom of expression.
Our heads of government have said twice, in 2009 and 2011, that they look forward to Zimbabwe’s return.
I very much hope that the forthcoming election proves that the conditions are right.
Members of the observer team are: Mr Gary Dunn (Australia), Mr Darrel Bradley (Belize), Rev Mpho Moruakgomo (Botswana), Dr Fonkam Azu’u (Cameroon), Ms Sabrina Grover (Canada), Prof John Packer (Canada), Prof Kwadwo Afari-Gyan (Ghana), Hanna Tetteh (Ghana), Mr Jayanta Roy Chowdhury (India), Judge Margarette May Macaulay (Jamaica).
Others are: Justice Willy Munyoki Mutunga (Kenya), Advocate Mary-Ann Ooi Suan Kim (Malaysia), Dr Francis Agius (Malta), Mr Tim Barnett (New Zealand), Ms Andie Fong Toy (New Zealand), Ms Clare A Keizer (St Vincent and The Grenadines), Ms Marcella Sesay Samba (Sierra Leone), Ms Janet Love (South Africa), Mr Nikoli Edwards (Trinidad and Tobago), Prof Sylvia Tamale (Uganda), Lord Robert Hayward (United Kingdom), Baroness Margaret Jay (United Kingdom), Judge David Radford (United Kingdom).”
The Commonwealth observer group will be supported by a nine-member staff team from the Commonwealth Secretariat, led by Katalaina Sapolu, director of the governance and peace directorate.
In May, President Mnangagwa wrote to Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland expressing interest, in principle, in rejoining the association, and requesting the Commonwealth to observe its forthcoming elections.
Zimbabwe pulled out of the organisation made up primarily of countries that were once part of the British Empire in 2003 following disagreements over land reform and the country’s electoral processes.
President Mahama has previously led the Commonwealth teams observing elections in Sierra Leone and Kenya.
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