EU final report biased, misleading: Govt Dr Jenfan Muswere

Wallace Ruzvidzo Herald Reporter

GOVERNMENT dismissed as biased, reactionary and misleading a premeditated final report on the 2023 harmonised elections that was released by the European Union (EU) yesterday.

Although the country’s elections have been endorsed by most bodies, the EU, which was apparently rooting for the opposition, released a final report that analysts, said was not worth the paper it is written on.

Ahead of the elections, the EU showed its bias towards the opposition and even surreptitiously recruited some in the SADC Elections Observer Mission, to harmonise their reports, but that all flopped as SADC, and the African Union (AU) ultimately declared the plebiscite peaceful, free and credible.

In a statement last night, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said the EOM sought to misrepresent Government’s adherence to the demands of the Constitution in the August 23-24 harmonised elections, but even so, the reactionary tendencies by the Western world will not derail the country’s irreversible march to prosperity.

This, the minister said, was because the elections were now a closed chapter, and Zimbabweans, under the leadership of President Mnangagwa were focused on keeping the development momentum towards Vision 2030, to become an upper-middle-class economy.

“The report focuses on a closed episode of our national political cycle. Zimbabwe is now at the height of implementing His Excellency President Cde Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s development agenda.

“At the same time, the Government is aware of the colonial traditional reactionary aspersions of those perennially inclined to subvert the will of our people by misrepresenting facts about Zimbabwe’s political environment before, during and after the elections,” he said.

During the August 23 harmonised elections, Dr Muswere said, all due processes were adhered to before, during and after.

“Section 93 of the constitution provides for the legal processes to be followed in the event that there are election disputes.

“However, after the announcement of the election results, there was no legal challenge to the process or the outcome of the election which gave legitimacy to the status–quo.

“The question of the outcome of the elections was decided by the people of Zimbabwe on the 23-24 August 2023 elections,” said the Minister.

The minister said it was unfortunate that the report sought to impugn Zimbabwe’s democratic processes.

“The Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe takes note of the misleading European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) 2023 Harmonised Election final Report which seeks to impugn Zimbabwe’s democratic processes,” he said.

President Mnangagwa’s administration, Dr Muswere said, was well aware of the observer mission’s clandestine efforts to soil the country’s democratic processes.

All these efforts, he said, had proved futile as President Mnangagwa had come out victorious.

“The Government is fully aware of the EU EOM’s irregular nocturnal meetings with opposition political players outside conventional election observation parameters.

“We also know that the EU EOM disbursed campaign funds to a particular opposition party in flagrant violation of the Political Parties Finances Act.

“We also have substantial evidence of the EU EOM’s clandestine operations with other Election Observer Missions (EOMs) for the purposes of manipulating their reports to discredit the election outcome,” he said.

On the other hand, Zanu PF’s National spokesperson Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa said the EU report was a “big yawn of expected biases”.

“It is already year end and southern Africans, including their hardworking Zimbabweans, are busy focussed on the main cropping season. The Luanda SADC Summit deliberated on the final and useful aspects of the Zimbabwe election,” he said.

The report, said Ambassador Mutsvangwa, would not deter Zimbabwe from continuing on its current development and growth trajectories.

“Tendentious comments from those with a coloured historical past will not distract us from the more pressing task of inclusive and wholesome nation building,” he said.

Political analyst Dr Hamadziripi Dube said there was a sharp contrast between what had transpired during the elections period and what the EU’s report was alleging.

“EU EOM report for August harmonised elections seems to be disengaging itself from reality which was on the ground during election time. There was freedom of campaign we saw Nelson Chamisa making inroads in rural areas which was one of the difficulties the opposition was facing in previous elections. This workable space he got it from election reforms implemented by the Government of the Second republic.

“No violence was registered in almost all new areas where Chamisa got better results than before. This clearly shows and prove that the electoral mood was way different from the previous years”.

Political commentator and lecturer Dr Tongai Danha said the EU’s report was problematic as they had already “disregarded” Zimbabwe’s elections before the polling day.

“Election statements or concerns expressed by observers should not necessarily imply a disregard for the elections themselves but to encourage improvements and promote transparency and fairness in the electoral process to ensure that elections meet international standards and reflect the will of the people.

“However, it becomes a problem when elections are disregarded beforehand will be a reflection of one-sided perspective possibly the opposition side yet It’s important to consider multiple perspectives and sources of information,” he said.

Dr Danha said the report had not been reflective of the peace and tranquil that had prevailed throughout the electoral period but was instead skewed in the opposition’s favour.

“In my reading of the report, I do not see the side of Zanu PF the political party that later won the election, who will speak the side of Zanu PF then. The will of the people has to be respected.

“With this in mind, questions of impartiality of evaluation of the electoral process are raised,” he said.

Ahead of the elections, known Zimbabwean critics and intelligence agents from the Western world had been deployed to play the role of referee from Brussels, reportedly with the instruction to gather damning information around the elections.

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