132: Resolution on the Forthcoming Election Run-off in Zimbabwe

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) meeting at its 43 rd Ordinary Session in Ezulwini, the Kingdom of Swaziland from 7 – 22 May 2008:

Recognizing its mandate under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in Africa;

Mindful of the important progress made by the African Union through its adoption in 2002 of the Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa which provides therein that ‘the holding of democratic elections is an important dimension in conflict prevention, management and resolution;

Recalling its Resolution on Freedom of Expression and the Upcoming Elections in Zimbabwe adopted at its 42nd Ordinary Session held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, from 15 – 28 November 2007;

Recallingfurther the Statement on the Election Impasse in Zimbabwe, issued by the African Commission in April 2008 addressed to the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the leadership of the Zimbabwe African National Congress – Patriotic Front (ZANU/PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC);

Noting the release by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the results of the Presidential elections held on 29 March 2008, which necessitated a second round run-off in terms of Zimbabwe law;

Noting the setting of dates for the second round run-off of the Presidential election;

Deeply Concerned by the human rights violations occasioned by the violence that followed the March 29 elections;

The African Commission hereby:

Calls on the government to take all necessary measures to ensure that Zimbabweans exercise their right to vote in a peaceful environment free of intimidation and violence;

Appeals to all political parties and their supporters to exercise tolerance and observe democratic rules during the campaign and after the elections;

Calls on the government to ensure that all contesting candidates have access to the state-owned media, in particular, the State broadcaster;

Further calls on the government to ensure that the media is allowed to cover all electoral processes;

Calls on the government to guarantee the protection of the rights of human rights defenders during the election process;

Requests the government to allow both national and international election observers to observe the entire electoral process, so as to enhance the credibility of the electoral process, and acceptance of the results of the elections by all contesting parties;

Requests the government to authorize a pre-election mission of the African Commission to Zimbabwe to discuss with government and other relevant stakeholders measures to be put in place to ensure the protection of human rights in the run up to and during the election.


Adopted at Ezulwini, the Kingdom of Swaziland, 2008.