EUEOM's election recommendations under fire

….as political analysts decry lack of objectivity

Staff Reporter

The European Union Observer Mission's (EUEOM) recent report, outlining recommendations for enhancing Zimbabwe's electoral processes, has sparked a wave of criticism from prominent political analysts.

These analysts argue that the EUEOM's suggestions echo the sentiments of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), raising questions about the report's impartiality and objectivity.

John Makambo, a noted political analyst, voiced his disapproval of the EUEOM's findings, particularly criticising their lack of concrete evidence to substantiate claims of electoral malpractice.

"The recommendations by EUEOM Chief Observer Fabia Massimo Calstaldo, presented during a virtual press conference on November 17, 2023, lacked credibility. They seemed to reflect the CCC's viewpoint, which is advocating either a re-run or a transitional government. The suggestions appear drastic and unwarranted, heavily influenced by the CCC's unverified assertions," Makambo stated.

Maria Choga, another analyst, concurred, suggesting that the EUEOM's recommendations were intertwined with the CCC's strategy of contesting the election results.

"It appears that EUEOM's recommendations align with the CCC's narrative of challenging the elections’ legitimacy and pushing for a re-run. This raises concerns about the mission's impartiality and the possibility of its influence by the CCC's political agenda," Choga remarked.

Adding to the chorus of criticism, Nobleman Runyanga, a distinguished political commentator, questioned the EUEOM's motives behind proposing such significant changes.

"The EUEOM's recommendations, calling for drastic measures like a transitional government, highlight a growing concern about potential external interference in Zimbabwe's internal affairs. The mission's bias towards the CCC, as evidenced by its alignment with the party's critique of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the judiciary, is alarming. Such actions could undermine the country's democratic processes and stability," Runyanga warned.

The analysts collectively stressed the importance of respecting the will of the Zimbabwean electorate and allowing the democratically elected Government to lead without external pressures.

They further argued that proposals for a transitional government or election re-run could disrupt Zimbabwe's progress and called for more responsible, objective evaluations of the 2023 elections.

Meanwhile, in response to the EUEOM report, the Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Jenfan Muswere, criticised the EU for misrepresenting Zimbabwe's electoral reality.

The Minister emphasised that the report dwelled on a concluded chapter of the nation's political cycle, overshadowing the country's focus on implementing President Emmerson Mnangagwa's development agenda.