Pay Attention to EU Observer Mission Recommendations, Govt Urged

Jane Mlambo| Think tank and advocacy institution on elections and democracy, the Election Resource Centre (ERC) has called upon government to pay attention to the issues rais3ed by the European Union Observation Mission, insisting that the new administration must “change attitude on electoral reforms.”

The EU Observation team yesterday presented its final report on the 2018 election highlighting a plethora of electoral irregularities which could have been avoided if the government had paid attention to the statements of the local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

Tawanda Chimhini, the ERC executive director, said its high time government changes its behavior on reforms.

“Now that the same things that we as ERC and others have said before have now been repeated by credible election groups who watched the 2018 elections at the invitation of Zimbabwean authorities, it is expected that the new administration’s attitude towards electoral reforms must change,” Chimhini said.

Chimhini bemoaned lack of political will to implement reforms by authorities.

“Sadly attempts to compel election authorities to adopt the necessary changes to improve elections in the past have fallen on deaf ears and have largely been ignored,” the ERC boss said.

The ERC executive director said authorities must walk the talk than just promising.
“The review done on the election by the EU suggests that going forward, it is no longer enough to base re-engagement efforts on mere rhetoric alone. It is no longer enough to just talk without acting,” he said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa had promised the nation and the world that Zimbabwe would have free, fair and credible elections on July 30 a test that he failed.
Chimhini said Zimbabwe must be prepared to move away from the current method of running elections for it to be accepted and appreciated internationally.

“This therefore suggests that re-engagement efforts at the international level must be accompanied by substantive changes in our democratic culture at a domestic level which is exhibited and not just said,” Chimhini said.

Chimhini said any re-engagement efforts that are devoid of addressing the electoral inadequacies which are now obvious to all “will be nothing but hot air”.

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