In response to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s public statements welcoming international observers to monitor the upcoming Zimbabwe elections, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) are deploying a joint Zimbabwe International Election Observation Mission (ZIEOM) to observe the 2018 Zimbabwe elections.
The IRI-NDI ZIEOM has opened an office in the Milton Park section of Harare and has begun implementing the comprehensive election observation exercise. The ZIEOM has received accreditation to observe the Voter Roll Inspection Process (May 19-29, 2018).
A high-level mission will visit Zimbabwe from June 2-9 to assess the country’s readiness for credible elections and offer suggestions for enhancing public confidence in the process. The ZIEOM plans to deploy observers throughout the country during the campaign period and on Election Day. The ZIEOM will coordinate with the other observer delegations, including domestic monitoring groups.
IRI and NDI have organised more than 200 international election observer missions around the globe, earning a reputation for impartiality and professionalism. In Zimbabwe, the IRI-NDI mission will conduct its activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct adopted by the United Nations in 2005, and will base its findings on international standards for elections. The mission’s approach is consistent with regional instruments to which Zimbabwe is a signatory, including the African Union Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa and the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. All activities will be conducted on a strictly nonpartisan basis and without interfering in the election process.
The ZIEOM is co-directed by Nicolas Teindas and Larry Garber. Teindas is a specialist in African political affairs with a decade of experience participating in short- and long-term observation missions on behalf of the European Union (EU), the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), and IRI. Garber, a former senior official at USAID, is recognised as a thought leader on election assistance and observation. Garber coordinated the 1985 observer mission for Zimbabwe’s first post-independence election and has participated in dozens of international election observation missions since that time.