Five eye Zim Presidency
Harare – Five candidates will battle for the Presidency in Zimbabwe’s July 31 general election.
Nomination for candidates for the Presidency, legislators and local government councilors was successfully completed two weeks ago.
The Presidential candidates include the incumbent, President Robert Mugabe, and his main challenger, MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai.
Others are MDC’s Welshman Ncube, ZAPU’s Dumiso Dabengwa and Zimbabwe Development Party leader Kisinoti Mukwazhe.
However, it is not clear how Ncube and Dabengwa will proceed as they recently announced they would work together in the upcoming poll.
The Zimbabwe government has invited more than 50 foreign observer groups for the elections.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said countries that have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe would not be invited, as they could not be expected to be objective.
According to a list from the Foreign Affairs Ministry which is mandated under the Constitution to invite foreign observers, those invited are drawn from regional and sub-regional organisations such as the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific bloc, the AU, the Association of South-Asian Nations, the Caribbean Community, COMESA, the Community of Lusophone Countries, the East African Community, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Pan-African Parliament, and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development among others.
The ministry has also invited individual countries from SADC and those African countries that in the past have also invited Zimbabwe to observe their elections. Among these are Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
From Asia, the country has invited China, India, Indonesia, Iran, and Malaysia. From the Americas, Brazil, Jamaica, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba have been invited.
From Europe individual countries invited are Russia, Belarus and Serbia.
Minister Mumbengegwi said diplomatic missions based in Zimbabwe would be allowed a maximum of five observers.
Preliminary observation teams from the AU and SADC have visited the country to observe poll preparations and met civic groups, political parties and constitutional bodies mandated with ensuring the conduct of a credible poll.
Special voting for people on national duty and members of the uniformed services was scheduled to be conducted on July 14 and 15.