The Zimbabwean Ministry of Justice has invited the Zimbabwe Election Support Network to field observers during the national elections coming up March 29, and ZESN said it intends to deploy some 11,800 observers.
The group’s chairman, Noel Kututwa, says its observers will receive accreditation from Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices in Harare and Bulawayo.
ZESN released a pre-election update on Thursday reviewing election-related events during February. The report offered a number of observations:
- During the period for voter registration many would-be voters especially young ones, had trouble producing proof of residence.
- Primary elections conducted by political parties were often not transparent.
- Some parts of Zimbabwe remain no-go areas for the opposition, with exceptions like Bindura, though supporters there face intimidation if they attend rallies.
ZESN was also critical of the voter education carried out by the electoral commission, saying its officers were not well informed and some of the materials generated and distributed by ZEC contained misinformation.
ZESN Chairman Kututwa told reporter Patience Rusere that his organization is ready to deploy observers around the country as soon as they are accredited.