Paul Soti, a Durban advocacy officer for the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum, said that for the first time in decades, the forum and other civil society organisations were able to send a delegation of observers to Zimbabwe for today’s elections.
“There was no way we could have sent observation teams during the Mugabe regime. This election certainly signals a new dawn for Zimbabwe, a new dispensation where people can freely express their political opinions and affiliation,” he said.
Soti, a theology and law graduate, said he was nearly killed in an attack for his political and social activism in 2012.
“Even before the votes are cast and the results are announced, this election has already been a victory for the people of Zimbabwe. It is a contest of policies and manifestos, not who has the political power to block the opposition’s campaign. (MDC leader Nelson) Chamisa has held so many rallies, which is unheard of in Zimbabwe. This new dispensation seems to have come with tolerance and understanding of democracy,” said Soti.