EU funding withdrawal ‘good riddance to intruders’
Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
BY withdrawing US$5 million in support funds towards the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), the European Union (EU) has given Zimbabwe a golden opportunity to dissociate itself from intrusive foreign governments who use the guise of funding democracy to meddle in affairs of sovereign nations, analysts have said.
This follows the triumph of President Mnangagwa and Zanu PF in the August 23 and 24 elections, a victory that has apparently incensed the EU and its allies.
The bloc’s move to withdraw the funds ostensibly because the elections were marred by irregularities exposes its double standards on Zimbabwe as it hoped the opposition would win, the analysts added.
Former Cabinet Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo said the EU’s notification of its suspension of support for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is an unacceptable use of donor funds to influence and control an independent Chapter 12 constitutional body.
“It’s wrong for ZEC to accept any foreign funding, fiscus must fund all independent constitutional bodies. The EU’s notification of its suspension of support for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is an unacceptable use of donor funds to seek to influence and control an independent Chapter 12 constitutional body, and it is the clearest ugly example why such bodies must not accept any foreign funding; but must be wholly and adequately funded by the fiscus. It is trite that he who pays the piper names the tune,” he said.
Under the country’s laws and in terms of the Constitution, specifically section 235, Commissions like ZEC are independent and not subject to the direction or control of anyone.
Further, the Section states that such bodies “must act in accordance with this Constitution” and must at all times “protect their independence, impartiality, integrity and effectiveness”.
However, the analysts said in its funding of ZEC, the EU was determined to influence the poll outcome hence its decision to withdraw funding following a Zanu PF win.
Mr Gibson Nyikadzino, a researcher and political analyst, said the EU cannot stand a Zanu PF win.
“They have what they want people to believe as the truth, but it is good for Zimbabwe taking into consideration the doctrine of the principle of sovereignty. An important institution like ZEC having such amounts of money from foreign stakeholders can equally be translated to institutional capture, so this is a deconstruction and a delinking of the election management body of Zimbabwe from an EU bloc that no longer views things rationally but only wants to see things only as ‘us-versus-them’ mentality which is wrong,” said Mr Nyikadzino.
Zimbabwe, he said, should maintain its institutional sovereignty.
“This is an opportunity for Zimbabwe to do the right thing and reclaim institutional sovereignty. Unfortunately for the West, under the EU bloc, they are showing that they are not interested in elements of co-operation and it seems they have got an agenda against Zimbabwe”.
Another political analyst Dr Hamadziripi Dube said the EU imagined Zanu PF losing the elections and that the opposition lost is still unfathomable for the bloc.
“The results are the opposite of their expectations. A threat to withdraw funding will not overturn the outcome of the results. What the EU did is a reaction to the outcome of the results, which is opposite to the will of the people. The people have spoken,” said Dr Dube.