Former Tanzanian president Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete is to oversee the election process in Zambia. (File photo: Sapa)

The Commonwealth Secretariat has appointed former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete as leader of its 17-member observer mission to Zambia’s general election on August 11.

“Holding peaceful and successful elections is a high responsibility for the people and institutions of all Commonwealth member states,” said Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland. “In solidarity with the people of Zambia, the Commonwealth will be present to observe these polls and will continue to work with relevant Zambian institutions towards further strengthening the country’s democracy.”

She said the observer mission will consider the pre-election environment and election preparations. On election day, the team will observe the voting, vote-counting and results procedures with reference to national legislation and to the international democratic standards to which Zambia has committed itself.

“Conducting these electoral processes in an inclusive, peaceful and credible manner is a demonstration of Zambia’s enduring commitment as a Commonwealth member to the culture of democracy and to nation-building,” she added.

An advance group of observers was deployed last week while the rest of the team is expected to arrive in Lusaka on August 4.

Kikwete will be joined by Angela Taylor (Barbados), David Langtry (Canada), Elizabeth Ohene (Ghana), Virisila Buadromo (Fiji), Pravin Nikam (India), Kennedy Nyaundi (Kenya), Kenneth Tsekoa (Lesotho), Ollen Mwalubunju (Malawi), Rosslyn Noonan (New Zealand), Adekunle Adeyemi (Nigeria), Christina Jillian Keziah Giwe (Papua New Guinea), Mandla Mchunu (South Africa), Kumudini Samuel (Sri Lanka), Constance V. Mitcham (St Kitts and Nevis), Irene Ovonji-Odida (Uganda) and Julius Nkafu (United Kingdom).