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Obasanjo Not Yet Cleared to Observe Zimbabwe Elections

  • Irwin  Chifera

Former Nigerian president Olusegon Obasanjo

Former Nigerian president Olusegon Obasanjo

African Commission chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, who has been appointed to head the African Union election observer mission will come to Zimbabwe if he is granted permission by the government.

Dlamini-Zuma made the remarks soon after arriving at the Harare International Airport Wednesday afternoon.

Obasanjo is expected in the country later this week. Dlamini-Zuma said she is in the country to talk to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and candidates about election issues.

The AU has already deployed observers for the July 31 harmonised elections.

The Pan-African Forum, a Kenyan-based lobby group which supports AU objectives, rejected Obasanjo’s appointment to the AU mission saying his appointment could lead to an Egypt-style scenario in Zimbabwe.

In a related development, the president’s office has requested the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) to withdraw 78 vehicles it allocated to officers representing parties in the unity government and place them under its custody.

According to a letter signed by Ray Ndhlukula, Deputy Chief Secretary for Modernisation and Administration in the President’s Office, the vehicles should have been surrendered by July 22.

In his letter, Ndhlukula said the vehicles were being used for partisan political party activities.

But none of the parties have complied. Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said he was not aware of the directive but said his party wants JOMIC to be disbanded.

A JOMIC member from the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Thabita khumalo, said they will not surrender the vehicles.

Each party was allocated 26 vehicles for use in monitoring and implementing the government of national unity.