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African Union: Zimbabwe Ready to Hold Free, Fair Poll

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
African Union (AU) chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says conditions for a free and fair election are currently prevailing in Zimbabwe but Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai believes that the AU assessment is wrong.

Dlamini Zuma told a news conference in Harare on Friday that Zimbabwe is ready to hold credible elections on July 31.

She also urged Zimbabweans and parties that may not agree with the results of the polls not to stage street protests but to seek redress in the courts.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai addressing a press conference in Harare
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai addressing a press conference in Harare
But Mr. Tsvangirai chided Mrs. Zuma for her comments saying this exposed her as a partisan observer.

The premier alleged that his party discovered some filled ballot papers used for the early vote stashed in dustbins raising questions on the security of vote.

He said this is clear testimony that the rigging of the July 31 poll is in motion.

He said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is not truly independent alleging that there is a hidden hand of the security forces in its operations.

Mr. Tsvangirai also complained that the electoral body has failed to supply him and his party the final voters’ roll with only five days left before the polls.

As a result, Mr. Tsvangirai has written to the commission asking the electoral body to provide him with the voters register.

He said because of those and other reasons such as the failure of the unity government to implement key democratic reforms and cases of violence being reported in some parts of the country, the credibility of Wednesday’s polls is now at stake.

However, the MDC founding president remains hopeful that he will trounce President Robert Mugabe next week.

Results of the elections are expected to be announced within five days of voting. If there is no outright winner, a second round of voting will be held in September this year.
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