Lusaka, Zambia – Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has announced that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will deploy an Election Observer Mission (SEOM) to Zimbabwe from August 17th to August 31st, 2023.
Hichilema, who is also the Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security, made the announcement in a statement on Friday. He said that the SEOM will be headed by former Vice President Dr. Nevers Sekwila Mumba.
The SEOM will coincide with the upcoming SADC Summit to be held in Angola on 17th August 2023, where Hichilema will assume Chairmanship of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
Hichilema said that the appointment of Dr. Mumba showcases the confidence of the Zambian people, reflecting his extensive experience in various senior roles he has held in the past.
“Dr. Mumba is a distinguished statesman with a proven track record of leadership and commitment to democracy,” Hichilema said. “He is the right person to lead the SEOM and ensure that the elections in Zimbabwe are free, fair, and credible.”
Hichilema expressed optimism that the elections in Zimbabwe will be peaceful and democratic. He wished the people of Zimbabwe the best in the upcoming elections.
The SEOM’s deployment is in line with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, which were adopted in 2004. The guidelines set out the principles and standards that SADC member states should uphold in their electoral processes.
The SEOM will be responsible for observing the elections in Zimbabwe and reporting on their compliance with the SADC Principles and Guidelines. The SEOM will also make recommendations for improving the electoral process in Zimbabwe.