Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
The European Union Observer Mission, which is in the country, says the forthcoming harmonised elections should be free and fair for Zimbabwe to get international acceptance and unlock Foreign Direct Investment. EUOM head Mr Elmar Brok, who is also a member of the European Parliament, said holding of credible elections was in the best interest of Zimbabwe.
He made the remarks after meeting Zanu-PF Secretary for External Affairs Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi at the party’s headquarters in Harare yesterday.
“We are here because we want to find out whether there will be free and fair elections as it was proposed for these elections, and the representatives of Zanu-PF have told us that they stick to this idea,” he said.
“We will be curious whether this is going to be the case in the coming weeks. I believe it is best for your country, best for international relations, best for future relations. Countries which have (an) image of free and fair elections and the rule of law, have better chances of getting investments to develop the country.
“This credibility has very much to do with democracy and the rule of law. Investors will feel more security, therefore it is the right way to try and achieve this in the coming elections.”
Cde Mumbengegwi told journalists that they had urged the delegation to verify any allegations before filing their reports.
“This is the first time that the EU is coming to observe our elections in a very long time,” he said.
“What we emphasised in the discussion was the idea of verification of all allegations, which are being made.
“In the past, we have had situations where opposition parties have made all sorts of outrageous allegations and accusations about things happening in remote parts of the country and so on.
“These allegations were simply recorded by the observers without verification and the very act of just recording gave an impression that these things actually happened when in fact they never happened.
“I think this is the point which they have noted and I really hope that they would do that because in the past, it had become a kind of profession of manufacturing allegations by the opposition, so this time, we are emphasising to the observers to verify.”