AU chief arrives in Zimbabwe ahead of elections - CNBC Africa

AU chief arrives in Zimbabwe ahead of elections

Southern Africa

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“Her presence is to support the AU mission that has been deployed to Zimbabwe, and to reassure the Zimbabwean people of the AU’s commitment to democratic stability through credible elections on the continent,” the AU Commission said on its website.

Dlamini-Zuma joined the AU Long Term Observer Mission that arrived in Zimbabwe on 15 June 2013. They were later joined by a 60-man delegation of Short Term Observers on 20 July. The AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Dr Aisha Abdullahi, also landed in Zimbabwe on Tuesday to monitor the ballot votes.

“This is in line with the AU's commitment as contained in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the African Union Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa and the African Union Guidelines on Election Observation and Monitoring Missions,” the Commission said.

An AU media liaison told CNBC Africa that Dlamini-Zuma landed safely in the sub-Saharan country and that she’s there indefinitely. She is expected to hold a press conference on Thursday.

Dlamini-Zuma appointed former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo to head the deployed observers.

The spotlight is on Zimbabwe as it heads to the polls where President Robert Mugabe will be facing off with Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe, who has been in power for more than 30 years and at the age of 89, remains determined to stay in power.

The European Union (EU) promised to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe if deployed African observers declare the elections free and fair, and if there are no protests by the opposition.

Zimbabwe will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Wednesday, 31 July. 

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