Interim Partner Report on Elections in ZimbabweAugust 2, 2013
Zimbabwe Elections 2013 - An interim statement by the Southern Africa Regional Ecumenical Observation Mission
At the invitation of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, an Ecumenical Observation Mission was deployed to Zimbabwe to observe the country’s elections held on 31st July 2013. This was preceded by a pre-election Ecumenical Pastoral visit by the same team in early July 2013. The mission comprised thirty (30) observers from Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa (FOCCISA) supported by one thousand one hundred (1100) local observers under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC).
The observation team was deployed across Zimbabwe’s ten provinces from the 29th of July and will be in the country until the 5th of August. The mandate of the Observation Mission was to assess the conduct and administration of the polls and help determine whether there existed conducive conditions in Zimbabwe that are supportive to an election process which would bring results that reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe. The Mission carried out a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process, including the pre-election environment, election administration, the role and conduct of various institutions, the voting process, counting, tallying of votes and announcement of results.
We, as the leadership of the church in Southern Africa have observed that in general, the political climate on the polling day was conducive, as it was relatively calm, peaceful and tolerant which is commendable. An election is by nature an intricate and complex process that often raises various disputes and concerns. We urge those who may have been aggrieved by any aspect of the conduct and administration of the electoral process to raise their concerns following the appropriate established processes for redress. The Mission hopes that peace will prevail during the remaining stages of the electoral process.
We note and applaud the commendable work done by The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), in terms of logistics, human resources, conduct and administration of the elections, despite the obvious resource constraints and time limitations. We urge them to expeditiously release the results to avoid any anxiety on the part of all concerned.
Election 2013 has however come and gone, now we are at a stage where results are being counted and announced right across the constituencies. Some will be successful, while others may not. The outcome of elections is a critical moment that naturally precipitates tension and unease among those affected either way. It is at this time that the church in Zimbabwe and the wider African region wishes to appeal to all stakeholders to exercise wisdom, maturity and care in whatever they do or say to ensure that the long term peace and stability of the country is protected. We are aware that peace can never be obtained without justice. It is therefore always essential to ensure that critical processes in the life of the nation, like an election, are always undergirded by values such as justice, transparency, consultation and fairness.
The Observation Mission would like to extend their gratitude to ZEC, the electoral officials, other observer missions and the people of Zimbabwe who gladly shared with the Mission their thoughts on the electoral process.
We commend the Church for the critical pastoral role it has played in reducing tensions before, during and following the polls. We applaud the Church at the local, regional, continental and international level for standing in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe at this critical moment in the political history of the nation.
As the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we offer to journey with all the people of Zimbabwe, winners and losers, at this critical time in the history of Zimbabwe.
Romans: 8 v 30-39 “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
v 35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?................
For and on Behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa (FOCCISA)
Rev. Mmachakga Mpho Moruakgomo- Botswana (Head of delegation), Dr Alfred Kalembo- Zambia, (Deputy Head of delegation),Rev. Lucas Amosse and Jose Tembe Mozambique, Rev. Pearson Banda- Zambia, Rev. Chizason Chunda- Zambia, Bishop Mbuyazwe Mnisi- Swaziland, Mr Godfrey Mkandawire- Malawi, Rev. Rupert Isaac Hambira Botswana, Bishop Gilford Immanuel Matonga- Malawi, Gosiame Goodenough Choabi and Peter Moerane South Africa, Ms Elma Dienda and Mr Alfret Beukes Namibia, Mrs Masara Idlette Mathaha , Mr Stephen Mokobori and Archbishop Gerard Tlali Lesotho, Gloria Mafole and Gabriel Urio- Tanzania.
For additional information please contact The General Secretary, Zimbabwe Council of Churches on 0773434169
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