Zimbabwe will hold its first presidential and parliamentary elections since the end of Robert Mugabe’s long rule in July this year.

The polls will be a major test of Emmerson Mnangagwa who took power without being voted for following a military couple that resulted into Mugabe’s resignation in November.

President Mnangagwa announced on Saturday that the impending general elections will be free and fair.

“As a nation, party and government, we are looking forward to very peaceful, transparent and harmonised elections in July this year,” Mnangagwa told reporters after a meeting with South Africans President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday night.

“I have already invited all political parties in Zimbabwe to a roundtable where we all commit ourselves to non-violence,” he added.

Mnangagwa said an official notice shall be issued soon and also an official date which the elections shall be held on.

Western observers who had been banned under Mugabe’s rule are expected to arrive in Zimbabwe to monitor the election, according to Mnangagwa.

Last week, Mugabe described Mnangagwa’s rule as illegitimate and a disgrace.


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