Tuesday, August 20, 2013

(TALKZIMBABWE) There’s a very, very good atmosphere in Zimbabwe: Zuma
This article was written by Our reporter on 30 July, at 06 : 34 AM

COMMENT - No vote rigging or violence, according to South African President Jacob Zuma, and US Ambassador Bruce Wharton.

South African President Jacob Zuma said a peaceful atmosphere for free and fair elections exists in Zimbabwe and called on the country to stage peaceful elections this week. President Zuma was speaking during a media briefing with South African-born Hollywood actress Charlize Theron about her work as a UNAIDS messenger for peace. UNAIDS is the joint UN programme on HIV/Aids.

“I think you will agree with me that in the last elections, by this time there were problems in Zimbabwe, with violence etc, and everybody was convinced the elections were on a very slippery kind of slope, but I can say today there has been a very, very, very good atmosphere,” he said. “The conditions for free and fair election exist and all parties are campaigning freely with no incidents.”

South Africa had been chosen by the regional Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to facilitate talks to help Zimbabweans towards free and fair elections.

Zimbabwe had produced a new Constitution and this has led to elections set down for Wednesday.

Parties had not been able to campaign everywhere before the last election, Zuma said. “This time I think they have.”

There was the “usual campaign politics”, where things were said on both sides of the political divide, but this should not be seen as unusual.

Zuma said that this time around there had not been any campaign violence.

He said Zimbabweans wanted peaceful elections this time “so that the winner will win without any measures that they can take to disadvantage others.”

He said Zimbabwe had done the best it could in the short time it had had to prepare.

“So we would say to the Zimbabweans, please have your elections in peace so that they can be declared free and fair, so that the Zimbabweans can then face the task of reconstructing Zimbabwe.

“So we wish them well. We wish all the parties well in their campaign,” he said.

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