Preliminary Mission Statement By The SADC Parliamentary Forum Election Observation Mission to the 2018 Zimbabwe Harmonised Elections

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Delivered by Mr Justice Dr Patrick Matibini, sc., fciarb, MP Head of mission and Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Zambia as well as a member of the SADC PF Executive Committee on 1 August 2018 at Harare International Conference Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe.

In line with its goals of protecting electoral integrity within the SADC Region, the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF),1 constituted a 22-Member Election Observation Mission to the 2018 Zimbabwe Harmonised Elections following an invitation by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). The Mission comprised a Pre-Election Technical Assessment Mission which was in the country from 14 to 26 July and the main Short Term Observation Mission which arrived in Zimbabwe on 26 July to 02 August 2018.

The Mission comprises Members of Parliament drawn from five National Parliaments of SADC countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia and is supported by officials from the SADC PF Secretariat and National Parliaments.

I was honoured to be the Head of the Mission while Hon. Agnes Limbo from the National Assembly of the Republic of Namibia is the Deputy Head of Mission.

This Mission is the fifth SADC PF Election Observation Mission to be deployed in Zimbabwe, with similar Missions having been deployed during the 2000, 2002, and 2013 general elections as well as the 2013 constitutional referendum. The SADC PF Election Observation Mission to the 2018 Harmonised Elections is also the 42nd Election Observation Mission to be deployed to a Member State since 1999 when SADC PF started observing elections in the SADC Region.

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