Officials prepare polling stations ahead of general elections in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 29 2018. Picture: REUTERS
Officials prepare polling stations ahead of general elections in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 29 2018. Picture: REUTERS

Millions of Zimbabweans will elect a new president and parliament on Monday in the landmark first elections since long-time leader Robert Mugabe was pushed out of office in 2017.

Electioneering has been largely peaceful, with few incidents of violence reported, unlike the 2008 presidential election. Observers have descended on the country for monitoring in the interest of free and fair elections after a long history of disputed outcomes.

A total of 23 presidential hopefuls are taking part.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling Zanu-PF and Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are leading in surveys, both saying they are certain of victory come August 4, when results are announced.

If there is no outright winner with 50% plus one of the votes, a runoff will be held on September 8.

Land hearings

In SA the parliamentary joint constitutional review committee will conclude its public hearings on the possible amendment of section 25 of the constitution to enable swifter expropriation of land without compensation.

The committee, which will traverse all nine provinces, will be in the Western Cape from Wednesday for hearings in Oudtshoorn and Beaufort West municipalities as well as Cape Town Metropolitan municipality.

Meanwhile, the portfolio committee on transport will continue its public hearings on the Road Accident Benefit Scheme in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday and will proceed to other provinces including KwaZulu-Natal in the week.

The portfolio committee on trade and industry will hold a follow-up meeting with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) over its forensic investigation into allegations of irregularities at the entity.

On Thursday the committee is expected to receive a progress report on the forensic investigation into the irregular issuance of an SABS certificate for substandard coal from Gupta-owned Brakfontein Mine, among other issues.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies ordered the SABS board to launch the investigation in February.

On Saturday closing arguments will be presented to the Regulatory Board for Auditors’ (Irba’s) inquiry into Gupta-owned Linkway Trading. The body is investigating KPMG for audits of the company after Linkway Trading was allegedly used to channel R30m of taxpayers’ money to fund the 2013 Sun City Gupta wedding.