The mission urged Zimbabweans to accept and respect the outcome of the elections, because it was up to standard.
Their remark was made after India’s election observer mission also expressed satisfaction in the way elections were conducted, saying it will welcome the final result to be announced by ZEC.
The Observer group AFRIC is a community of independent researchers, experts and activists and their main goal is to create a platform for elaboration and dissemination of objective analytical information, first-hand opinions; establishing direct communication and cooperation.
AFRIC Observers were at all stations in Zimbabwe.
The group’s members at a press conference in Harare yesterday shared their impressions of the electoral processes.
Giving her assessment of the polls, AFRIC member Mirjam Katharina Zwingli from Switzerland said: “I was positively impressed by the organisation if the presidential election. I was incredibly touched by the pride I saw in people’s eyes standing in the queues, very calm and very proud. I also see self-confidence. I saw the polling officials and they seemed very meticulous trying to do everything according to the book. It took some time at times but I was astounded how committed they were, how thorough they were, very transparent. This election was a symbolic gesture that Zimbabwe has now come to international standards in terms of holding democratic processes,” she said.
Another AFRIC member Rishabh Sethi from India said: “I want to thank the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for conducting elections in a very successful manner. I look forward to come to Zimbabwe again and I wish good luck and development for this country.”
Volker Tschapke from Germany said: “I was touched with many young people standing in the queues waiting to vote. It was a great day for Zimbabweans.”
Pearl Nicodemus, a journalist and observer for the group from South Africa, expressed concerns about some polling stations which had no observers. “In some polling stations that I visited, I noticed that we were the first observers to be there, in others we were the only observers who were present.” Responding to a question on how this problem could be solved, she proposed that commitment will ensure fair distribution of observers across the nation in the next elections.
AFRIC brought 40 international observers from countries like Mozambique, South Africa, Cape Verde, Mongolia, India, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine representing a range of organizations from NGOs to Parliaments and academic institutions.
By Regina Sondo