In Zimbabwe, it’s the president announcing the election date, not the electoral commission. Will this election be free and fair?

By the Kenyan report Correspondent

January 18, 2018

The new Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that new elections will be held within four to six months, the first elections not to feature Robert Mugabe since the country’s independence.

President Mnangagwa who will be contesting in the election appointed the former army chief as his Vice president after the resignation of President Robert Mugabe.

The 75 year old Zimbabwean leader replaced the 93 year old Robert Mugabe. At 75, he is way younger than Mugabe and able to rule Zimbabwe for the next 18 years should he plan to retire or resign at 93 as his predecessor.

President Mnangagwa seeks to allay fears from investors and businessmen who have suffered losses in the last few years of President Mugabe’s presidency. Reviving the economy and undoing the damage Mugabe has done to Zimbabwe including repairing the country’s image is his top priority.

However, his announcement of the election date is a rather disturbing and a normal trend in African democracies who that still want to control independent institutions like the electoral bodies. Questions of fairness, transparency and independence will always linger when participants in the electoral process are the same that make pronouncements and decisions on when elections are held without involving other stake holders.

President Mnangagwa’s announcement begs the question, will Zimbabwe’s election be free and fair?






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