The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has congratulated Zimbabwe on having a “peaceful, credible and efficient” election process.
SADC mission leader Advocate Notemba Tjipueja told a packed press conference today in Harare’s Rainbow Towers Hotel – the main elections hub – SADC was satisfied with the way the elections had been conducted so far.
Tjipueja said there were challenges with the special vote last week, but the mission was satisfied with the way these had been rectified.
Ballot papers did not reach some of the special voters on time, but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission applied to the courts to give them permission to vote yesterday.
She praised the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for the way in which it conducted the elections, but said it could improve in educating voters about the country’s new constitution, adopted earlier this year, and it should “clean up” the voters’ roll.
She also said SADC was aware that a number of people were turned away from voting stations because they weren’t registered.
“But no one was able to give us a figure of the number of people they allege have not been registered,” she said.
The mission was also concerned with the “partisan” way some newspapers and television stations reported on the elections.
SADC’s endorsement of the election came only an hour after MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai slammed the process and said the elections should be declared null and void.
Tjipueja denied the MDC-T had met with SADC and expressed its concerns.
Meanwhile, the ZEC issued a statement today saying a number of voting stations stayed open until late at night, some as late as midnight, but everyone who was in the queues before the close of polls at 7pm was served.
The ZEC said there were “reports of large voter turnout” and it was compiling statistics about this.
It said counting had been completed at polling station level, and results were being collated at ward and constituency level. “We shall give you these results as these come in,” the ZEC said.
Zimbabweans went to the polls yesterday to cast their vote in presidential and parliamentary elections.
Zanu-PF supporters have claimed an early victory.
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