The visiting African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat on Tuesday concluded his three-day visit to Zimbabwe and said the AU will offer technical support to help Zimbabwe conduct polls set for mid this year.
“The AU stands ready to support Zimbabwe in the electoral process. A team from the AU will be coming to Zimbabwe to work with the organization responsible for elections,” Mahamat said at a joint press conference with foreign affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo.
He said the AU will mobilize partners to offer financial and technical support for the elections which come after a peaceful transition of power last November.
Former President Robert Mugabe resigned in November last year after a military intervention and was replaced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mahamat hailed the peaceful transition and said as part of its responsibilities, the AU will offer technical support to the transitional government to ensure peace and stability in the country.
“The transition was publicly supported by the people of Zimbabwe so we are here to support the authorities,” he said.
During the visit, Mahamat, who was accompanied by the AU commissioner for political affairs Minata Samate Cessouma, met Mnangagwa, some cabinet ministers and paid a courtesy call on Mugabe. Cessouma held discussions with officials from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Mahamat said he exchanged views with Mugabe who explained to him the reasons why he resigned after 37 years in power. Mugabe, he said, told him that he had resigned to ensure peace and development of Zimbabwe.
Mahamat said he had taken stock of the situation in Zimbabwe as well as assessing the country’s preparedness to hold the upcoming elections.
“I am generally satisfied with the visit and discussions we have had and also the authorities of Zimbabwe have committed themselves to various actions to open up the political and democratic space to ensure that free, fair, transparent and credible elections are organized in the country,” he said.
Moyo said the AU chair noted that the successful holding of free and fair elections would help end Zimbabwe’s isolation and unlock assistance from the international community.
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