We are launching Zimbabwe Election Watch 2013 on Independence Day. Zimbabwe Election Watch (ZEW) continues Sokwanele's tradition of monitoring elections against the 'SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections'. This project follows immediately on from Zimbabwe Referendum Watch, where we monitored the conditions in the country against the SADC standards in advance of the constitutional referendum. The SADC guidelines were adopted by the SADC leaders on 17th August 2004 in Mauritius and Zimbabwe is a signatory to the benchmark principles. Monitoring for ZEW Issue 1 began on 17 March 2013, the day after the constitution referendum was held - a peaceful day, considered very successful compared to previous recent Zimbabwean elections. But 17 March signalled the start of 'election season proper': Beatrice Mtetwa, a prominent human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe, was arrested, allegedly for obstructing the police.