COMESA has deployed a 40-member election observer mission in Zambia for the August 12 General Elections. The observers drawn from 10 Member States were flagged off on Sunday, August 8, 2021, by the Secretary General, Chileshe Kapwepwe at the COMESA Secretariat in Lusaka.
The Mission includes observers from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda and Zimbabwe and staff from COMESA Secretariat. It is led by Ambassador Ashraf Gamal Rashed of Egypt assisted by Madam Hope Kivengere of Uganda. The two are Members of the COMESA Committee of Elders.
Prior to deployment, the observers were conducted on a two-day training by the Secretariat and key stakeholders including the Electoral Commission of Zambia, the national police, political analysts, civil society and the media. The training covered among others, the COMESA election observer principles and methodology, observer responsibilities, and on the Zambia electoral process.
In the days preceding the elections, the observers will meet various electoral stakeholders including political parties, and exchange views with other election observer missions.
The observation process will be guided primarily by the constitution and legal framework of Zambia, in consistence with the relevant international and regional instruments including the COMESA Guidelines on Election Observation.