Zim must invite more election observers: EU

MEMBERS of the European Union (EU) and international community who held talks with the Zimbabwe re-engagement committee comprising Global Political Agreement (GPA) negotiators have called for the full implementation of the GPA and urged Zimbabwe to invite a wide range of international observers ahead of general elections.

Report by Wongai Zhangazha

The group called “Friends of Zimbabwe (FoZ)” comprising, among others, the EU, the UK, the US, Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Norway, met Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu PF), Elton Mangoma (MDC-T) and Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga (MDC) in London on Tuesday.

In a communiqué, the group said it supported Sadc’s role as the guarantor of the GPA and looked forward to implementation of the outstanding democratic reforms as outlined in the GPA and roadmap to elections.

“We welcomed calls by Zimbabwe’s political leaders for peace and non-violence and the statements by party leaders that Zimbabweans should be able to choose their own government in free and fair elections, and to be able to vote without fear or intimidation,” read the communiqué.

“We look to all Zimbabweans, including state institutions and the security sector, to heed these calls. We expressed concern about current harassment of civil society and reports of political violence and strongly urged that such incidents should cease.”

FoZ also stressed the importance of a “wide range of international observers” that would “help enhance the credibility of the poll and the strength of the government elected”.

Noting the importance of lifting of international sanctions on Zanu PF officials, FoZ said its members are prepared to work with any government emerging from free and fair elections, which are “credible, peaceful and transparent”. “Where relevant, we confirmed our governments’ plans to review their targeted measures following such elections,” the group said.

It also stated that transparency and integrity in economic and financial governance as well as extractive industry management are essential to combat poverty and corruption, while contributing to inclusive economic growth.

“It is critical that Zimbabwe’s natural resources are utilised for the benefit of all Zimbabweans and that ownership and revenues from mineral extraction are fully transparent and accountable,” FoZ said.

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