January 22 2018 – ZIMBABWE will hold elections in four or five months, ahead of the timeframe stipulated in the constitution, which says elections should be between July 23 and August 21.
“Zimbabwe is going for elections in four to five months’ time and we have to preach peace, peace and peace, because we know it is good for us and we have no doubt that we will have peaceful elections”, said President Emmerson Mnangagwa at an official dinner in Mozambique on Wednesday night, a state media video of the leader shows.
The elections will be the first not involving Mugabe since Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980. “We want fair, free, credible elections”, he told British business newspaper the Financial Times in an interview published Thursday.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly said that his call previous year for the return of externalised funds is “being heeded and substantial millions” have been returned. Last week the EU’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Philippe Van Damme, told journalists that free and fair elections will be a “huge step” in defining the southern African country’s reengagement with the worldwide community.
At a function ahead of next week’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Mnangagwa said the extent of economic problems required Zimbabweans to work together as he promised to safeguard all investments in the country. In 2016, the country ranked 154th out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index.
The next vote will pit Mnangagwa against the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, whose leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is suffering from cancer, a development that has weakened and divided his party.
Mnangagwa was one of Mugabe’s closest allies in the ruling ZANU-PF party and the 75-year-old has been accused of playing a vital role in the authoritarian regime.
Zimbabwe shunned global observers during Mugabe’s 37-year rule, during which elections were marred by vote-rigging and violent suppression of the opposition. – Insider Car News