Prayerful patience as Zimbabwe waits for election results

by Andrew Williams last modified 31 July 2018 06:36 pm
Prayerful patience as Zimbabwe waits for election results

Rev. Dr Andrew Williams (right) and fellow members of the ZCC/WCC international observers mission at the results centre.

31 July 2018

I participated as an international observer in the Zimbabwe 2018 harmonised elections (an election for President, Parliament and local councils) representing the World Council of Churches (WCC) and joining participants from the Church of Sweden, the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), and South Africa to support the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) in their work.

There has been huge interest in the election and many people, including the European Union, the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the United States and the Southern African Development Community have all sent observer missions.

The ZCC is highly regarded for their input in the process. Their campaign – I pray, I vote – has helped mobilise people in the churches to exercise their right to vote.

In visiting polling stations on Election Day, the process seemed to run smoothly and be conducted carefully according to the rules. We saw no violence, but rather people who were willing to come out early and sometimes wait for a considerable time to exercise their right to vote.

Polling was from 7 am to 7 pm and the country is now awaiting the result. The Electoral Commission must publish a result within five days, but I would hope for it quicker than that.

At the press conference this morning, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chair indicated that in many districts counting was already complete (for the Presidential vote) and each polling place then posts the result at their station. This means that some are already doing informal tallying, but the ZCC is urging that people remain prayerfully patient as we wait for the official result to be announced.

I am very impressed with the work of the ZCC and the way they have organised the gathering and monitoring of information. They have done a great job and other African leaders from the AACC who are part of the delegation of international observers say that they have learned valuable lessons on how the churches can engage in the election process. The ZCC have been wonderful hosts and seem genuinely appreciative of having the international solidarity of church partners from around the world.

The situation remains tense. Not everyone will accept the results. The ZCC continues to ask for prayers for Zimbabwe, to call for peace and calm and to look for a coordinated platform for solutions to the political problems that the country will face in the coming days. Please keep Zimbabwe in your prayers.

Rev. Dr Andrew Williams
WCC Observer

Disclaimer

The impressions, hopes and ideas expressed in this blog are the contributions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policies of the World Council of Churches.

More information.