Zimbabwe will hold elections in four to five months, a newspaper on Thursday quoted President Emmerson Mnangagwa as saying.
The election would be the first time since independence the southern African state will conduct a vote that does not involve former ruler Robert Mugabe.
Mr. Mnangagwa, who took over after Mr. Mugabe was forced to resign in November following a defacto military coup, was speaking during an official trip to Mozambique, the official Herald newspaper reported.
The international community will be closely watching the vote, which is seen as a litmus test of Mr. Mnangagwa’s democratic credentials and is key to unlocking badly needed financial assistance and repairing relations with Western powers and international financial institutions.
“Zimbabwe is going for elections in four to five months’ time and we have to preach peace, peace and peace because we know it is good for us and we have no doubt that we will have peaceful elections.
“We will ensure that Zimbabwe delivers free, credible, fair and indisputable elections to ensure Zimbabwe engages the world as a qualified democratic state,” Mr. Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.
Under the constitution, Zimbabwe should hold elections between July 22 and August 22 but parliament can elect to dissolve itself, triggering an early vote.
The ruling ZANU-PF holds a two-thirds majority in parliament.
Since 2000, elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by political violence and disputes, which led to the country becoming an international pariah under Mugabe’s 37-year rule.
The next vote will pit Mr. Mnangagwa against the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, whose leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is suffering cancer, a development that has weakened and divided his party.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...