EU accepts invitation to observe 2023 elections
Harare (New Ziana)-The European Union (EU) has accepted the invitation by the Zimbabwean government to observe the harmonised elections scheduled for August 23 this year.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) last week invited applications for accreditation from persons and organisations wishing to observe the harmonised elections.
The electoral season in the country has entered the home stretch following the sitting of the nomination court with the ruling Zanu PF launching its campaign in the eastern town of Chipinge, Manicaland province on Saturday.
Opposition CCC leader Nelson Chamisa who is the main contender to President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the Presidential election also launched his party campaign in South Africa the same day.
EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Jobst von Kirchmann said the invitation to observe polls demonstrated the trust, cooperation and partnership’ between the government and the grouping.
“The EU warmly welcomes the invitation from the Government of Zimbabwe to observe the harmonised elections of 2023 in Zimbabwe. This invitation clearly demonstrates the trust, cooperation, and partnership between Zimbabwe and the EU,” he said in a tweet.
In the last election in 2018, the EU deployed about 88 observers.
Accreditation fees for local observers is US$10, those from the African continent US$100, and those from foreign embassies in Zimbabwe US$300 while those from any country outside Africa will be US$400.
The fees for local media practitioners accredited with the Zimbabwe Media Commission and working for foreign media houses is US$100 as is the case with those from the African continent while local media practitioners accredited with the ZMC pay US$10.
Observers from the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the SADC Parliamentary Forum, the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC, electoral bodies and embassies from African countries are exempt from paying any fees.
With previous elections in Zimbabwe being characterised by violence, President Mnangagwa has since been unrelenting in calling for peace before, during and after the upcoming polls.