Govt takes exception to EU election report
Harare (New Ziana) – Acting Minister of Foreign affairs and International Trade, Amon Murwira said on Monday a harsh preliminary report on last week’s general elections by a European Union (EU) election observer team was more based on hearsay and unverified information, than the actual electoral process that took place in the country.
The observer mission, whose home countries founded and funded a number of opposition parties in the country over the years, condemned the vote, alleging a litany of shortcomings.
Speaking to EU ambassadors accredited to Zimbabwe on Monday, Murwira said the government found it ‘disturbing and unfortunate’ that the EU Electoral Observation Mission deliberately misrepresented the electoral process that took place in the country.
He said the EU team’s report was not factual and pandered to the interests of the opposition more.
“Against this background, we find it disturbing and unfortunate that the EU Electoral Observation Mission deliberately issued a sweeping statement, full of misrepresentations and allegations,” he said.
“In great measure, the Preliminary Report was not based on the direct observation of the election.”
Murwira said the EU election mission, instead of confining itself to observing the elections, and making recommendations where necessary, appeared to have been more interested in just ‘misleading the world on the conduct of our elections.”
Among other things, the EU mission included the negative views of the opposition on the conduct of the elections, alleged violence and voter intimidation, and criticised national institutions involved in running elections, and laws guiding the process.
“It is unacceptable for an Observation Mission to arrogate itself the duty to assess our democratic institutions that were constitutionally established. This is gross interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign State and, therefore, totally unacceptable,” Murwira said.
“In our view, Observer Missions have no legal jurisdiction to comment on our Constitution and laws and make judgemental pronouncements on our elections. In addition, our Constitution guarantees freedom of expression, assembly and association,” he said.
He added: “It is clearly unacceptable, in Zimbabwe, as it is in any country for foreign interests to be a factor in domestic politics, and to agitate for a particular position in internal policy debates and in our legislature.”
“Unsubstantiated allegations against such sovereign institutions, which are the backbone of our democracy, are very unfortunate and unacceptable. In that regard we value democracy and democratic institutions and will do everything in our power to preserve them.”