- Former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano said both Zimbabwe’s presidential frontrunners have impressed him with their peace pledges.
- The UN message to both is to turn to the courts, rather than the streets, if they do not accept the election outcome.
- Zanu-PF is already leading with 91 uncontested local authority wards.
Former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano says he is impressed by the two frontrunners in the race for Zimbabwe’s presidency for their promises of peace – during and after the polls.
Speaking at a Council of Churches meeting in Harare on Tuesday, Chissano said he attended both Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s last rallies ahead of elections.
He added an ideal Zimbabwe was one where a person saw their political opponent “as my brother, and I must respect him despite our differences, which should not lead me to violence and destruction of the country”.
Both Mnangagwa and Chamisa have preached peace ahead of the polls, despite pockets of violence in some parts of the country.
There are fears within the regime there could be riots after the polls if the opposition believes it has been robbed.
Speaking at the same occasion, Edward Kallon, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Zimbabwe, said both the winner and loser of the high-stakes election should accept the result with honour.
“My fervent appeal is that those who will emerge as winners should do so in magnanimity. Those who will not make it should display a spirit of fair play and restraint,” he added.
In the event of disputes, Kallon urged parties to approach the courts.
“Grievances or dissatisfaction with the outcome should be channelled peacefully through established mechanisms and the court of law. Let the overall winner in this election be Zimbabwe as a country,” he said.
In his last message to the electorate, Chamisa urged Zimbabweans not to fall for the disinformation that their votes would not be secret.
He urged voters to choose who they wanted – while keeping in mind his party stood for a new generation, progress, and prosperity.
On the other hand, Mnangagwa reiterated once re-elected, the Zimbabwe dollar would stay.
“There is no option but for it to have a future. Even if you wake me up from my sleep and ask me, I will tell you, the Zimbabwe dollar is here to stay,” he said.
The election: vital statistics
Zimbabweans will be voting for local authorities, parliament, and the presidency. There are 12 374 polling stations.
Each polling station will use its own voters’ roll.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) recruited 150 000 electoral officers.
There are 3 572 local observers and 136 foreign ones for an election with 6 623 511 eligible voters.
There are 518 National Assembly candidates belonging to political parties in the parliamentary race and 64 independents.
There are also 4 648 local authority candidates who are linked to political parties and 266 independents.
Zanu-PF is already in the lead after 91 local authority wards went uncontested by other parties.