Zimbabwe not ready for peaceful, credible election: EU official
Zimbabwe still has much work ahead of it if the country is to hold a fair
election this year, a top European Union official told journalists in
“I think there is still a lot to be done if elections are to be peaceful and
credible,” EU Managing Director for Africa Nicholas Westcott said during a
visit to the southern African nation.
The country recently passed a new constitution in a national referendum.
This paved the way for general elections later this year which should end a
fragile coalition government between President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party
and the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change, headed by Morgan
In light of the new constitutional path Zimbabwe has taken, the EU recently
removed some sanctions which targeted Mugabe’s inner circle.
A fair election could push the EU to remove further punitive measures.
Zimbabwe is also in need of cash to hold the election, as the treasury says
the state cannot foot the bill. The country entered into a prolonged period
of economic collapse more than a decade ago, owing to Mugabe’s policies
which included the seizure of white-owned farms.
There has been an economic rebound in recent years, but the recovery is slow
“Our criterion for funding the elections is that we are confident that we
are contributing to elections that will not be skewed,” said Westcott.
“I have been looking if we can get assurances that the money will be well
spent towards goodwill objectives,” he added.
Zimbabwe’s last election in 2008 was rife with fraud, intimidation and
violence targeting the opposition, media and civil society groups.