Bishops want to monitor elections

A coalition of clergymen from Southern Africa has vowed to observe forthcoming elections in the region.

The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, which includes Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland, announced this week it had joined forces to observe upcoming elections in several countries, including Zimbabwe.

The SACBC said that, with the politically charged situation in the region, much was at stake in some of the countries facing elections, with election violence, intimidation and reprisals being among issues of most concern.

“We call on the governments planning elections to guarantee conditions that ensure they are free, fair and peaceful,” said Bishop Nubuasah of Francistown, who is also the President of Imbisa.

“We have seen how violence and insecurity affect the everyday lives of ordinary people, denying them much needed development and the ability to lead fulfilled lives,” he added.

The Bishops also called on the SADC to be active in ensuring that its principles and guidelines on the conduct of elections are fully respected.

“Election time is challenging time and as witnesses on the ground, our hope is that our governments will respect these guidelines, so that the lives and dignity of each and every individual can be respected,” said Bishop Nubuasah.

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