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By Editorial staff

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Zimbabwe still have a long road ahead if they want to become a respected country

Observers said the polls 'failed to conform to regional and international standards'.


Having regular free and fair elections is the cornerstone of having a fully fledged democracy. Come election time, voters have the chance to elect the people they want to govern. When independent groups of observers insist this process is flawed, you have serious problems and your country’s credibility is at stake. While nothing new, this looks as if its the case of our northern neighbours, Zimbabwe, who went to the polls on Wednesday. ALSO READ: Zimbabwe elections facts and figures After several delays due to a number of irregularities, an extra day of voting was allowed on Thursday. But as…

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Having regular free and fair elections is the cornerstone of having a fully fledged democracy. Come election time, voters have the chance to elect the people they want to govern.

When independent groups of observers insist this process is flawed, you have serious problems and your country’s credibility is at stake. While nothing new, this looks as if its the case of our northern neighbours, Zimbabwe, who went to the polls on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe elections facts and figures

After several delays due to a number of irregularities, an extra day of voting was allowed on Thursday. But as the results start trickling in late this week, foreign poll observers have questioned the entire process, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the elections.

Observers said the polls “failed to conform to regional and international standards”.

As both President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu-PF party and the largest opposition, Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa, claimed victory, police locked down Harare yesterday amid fears of protests.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe election: Dozens of poll monitors arrested as tense vote enters second day

It certainly didn’t help Zimbabwe’s image when 41 local monitors were arrested on Thursday night, and had their computers and cellphones confiscated by police, who said it was “used to unlawfully tabulate” results.

Head of the European Union observer mission Fabio Massimo Castaldo said: “Violence and intimidation resulted ultimately in a climate of fear”, while former Zambian vice-president Nevers Mumba, head of the regional bloc’s delegation, also raised his concerns: “Some aspects of the election fell short of the requirements of the constitution of Zimbabwe, the electoral act and the SADC principals and guidelines.”

Zimbabwe have a history of disputed elections, often marred by violence. Opposition parties have repeatedly accused the Zanu-PF party of being behind the chaos.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe’s post-independence history in 10 dates

It seems Zimbabwe still have a long road ahead if they want to become a respected, democratic country.

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