According to reports, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Commissioner Qhubani Moyo said: “The spirit behind declaring the election day a public holiday is to enable the people to prepare for polling considering that this election is polling station-based. This means that some people might need to travel to their polling stations.
“It is also a way of encouraging all the people to cast their votes. If some of the people are committed on other things such as work they may fail to participate in this important exercise.”
At least 5.5 million registered voters are expected to cast they ballots.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) have both sent observer teams to the election – the first since long-time ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted in 2017, AFP reported.
Previous elections under Mugabe were marred by fraud and intimidation.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his rival, opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa are other opposition leaders are meeting face to face in Harare today 19/07/18 to chart the way forward for the election and iron out a few contentious issues. The meeting has been facilitated by a local church group. An update will be provided as soon as possible in respect of the resolutions made thereat.
The Catholic Church-run Silveira House in partnership with other churches have indicated that they are organising the multi-party gathering for all the 23 presidential candidates.
The plan is aimed at preserving peace and “inculcating a sense of political tolerance” ahead of the crunch elections.
A NewsDay report said that candidates would be allowed to address the gathering and outline their various manifestoes.
“Our role is to promote peace and the message to all political players is to desist from violence,” the report quoted Chirombo as saying.