ACDP Member of Parliament and International Relations spokesperson Cheryllyn Dudley today said that, “The ACDP commends President Emmerson Mnangagwa for following through on promise to ensure Zimbabwe's first national elections of the post-Mugabe era are not delayed”.

“We extend best wishes to all participating in the upcoming elections and pray for God’s hand of protection over you and His guidance. The eyes of the world, especially potential investors, will be on the July 30 presidential and parliamentary elections.  For many of us in SADC countries, Zimbabwe’s progress and mature handling of their internal struggle is a beacon of hope, and the ACDP welcomes the clearance given for monitors to be deployed. This has not been the case since 2002 when I was part of the South African Parliament delegation in Zimbabwe to monitor their elections”, Dudley said.

Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa, his main rival, are both campaigning on a promise to revive the economy which has been crippled by a legacy of land seizures from commercial farmers and a black economic empowerment drive that targeted foreign-owned businesses - policies of Robert Mugabe's near four-decade rule, which ended in November after a de facto military coup that transferred power to 75-year-old Mnangagwa.

The ruling ZANU-PF says Zimbabwe is at a critical stage of transition requiring an experienced politician like Mnangagwa. Chamisa, the 40-year-old leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), says the president is equally to blame for the country's economic troubles, since he served in each of Mugabe's governments since independence in 1980.  Both arguments appear to have resonated among the 5.4 million-strong electorate, 60 percent of whom are under 40.

Other contenders in the presidential race will include, Joice Mujuru (ousted from the ruling party in 2014), Thokozani Khupe (who leads a splinter MDC faction), and four other lesser-known candidates.

If no single presidential candidate wins an absolute majority next month, a run-off is scheduled for September.

15 June 2018