President Edgar Lungu has appointed Party of National Unity (PNU) leader Highvie Hamududu as Special Advisor to his SADC Chairmanship on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, and will represent the Head of State on the election observer mission to the Kingdom of eSwatini.
According to a statement issued by the SADC Organ, Hamududu said his mission would focus on observing the pre-parliamentary election period, including the campaigns, the voting day and the process of the counting of ballot papers.
“The Southern African Development Community (SADC) launched its electoral observation mission to the 2018 General Elections in the Kingdom of eSwatini on 16th September, 2018. Honourable Highvie Hamududu, Special Advisor to the President for the Republic of Zambia and Head of SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM), led the launch representing the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia,” the SADC statement read.
“In his remarks, Hon Hamududu indicated that the mission to the Kingdom of eSwatini was at the invitation of the Election and Boundaries Commission (EBC) of the Kingdom of eSwatini, a practice in conformity with the SADC Treaty; the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections of 2015, and the mission will focus in observing the pre-election period, including the campaigns, the voting day and the process of the counting of ballot papers.”
The statement quoted Hamududu as saying the mission recognizes the positive strides made by the Kingdom of eSwatini to improve the electoral system through the enactment of legislation.
“The Head of the Mission stated that the SEOM to the 2018 General Elections consisted of 34 observers from 10 SADC member-states namely: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, supported by two experts on electoral processes from SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC). He further indicated that the observers will be deployed to the four administrative regions of the Kingdom of eSwatini, namely; Hhohho, Manzini, Lubombo and Shiselweni. The Head of the Mission noted that the Kingdom of eSwatini has a unique political and electoral system; the Tinkundla, whereby, political representation is based on the selection of candidates by individual merit as opposed to political parties. Hon. Hamududu said that SEOM recognizes the positive strides made by the Kingdom of eSwatini to improve electoral system through the enactment of legislation, which ensures that women constitute at least 30 per cent of the members of the House of Assembly,” stated SADC.
“He further commended the Kingdom of eSwatini on efforts made by the EBC to roll-out voter education to the people of disabilities, particularly with respect to the development and disseminate of voter education material, as well as the ongoing efforts by the EBC to engage the media in order to develop a Code of Conduct for the media during elections. He encouraged all stakeholders to ensure that the General Elections are managed in a peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible manner, and that the electoral process adheres to democratic values and principles envisioned in our SADC Treaty, the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation; and the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.”